Dungannon company Premier Vehicle Solutions (PVS) Ltd has secured a major deal with Fiat Ireland, potentially worth £2.1 million, with help from Invest Northern Ireland and the EU.
PVS specialises in the conversion of taxis, minibuses and vans from a number of global vehicle manufacturers so the vehicles comply with accessibility legislation.
Invest NI offered £34,000, part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), towards the company’s total investment costs of £125,000 to develop the capability to convert a specific Fiat model called Scudo into a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV).
Within three months, this resulted in the significant contract to convert and initially supply 50 of these taxis for Fiat Ireland. As these are sold on to end customers, the deal will also see PVS supply more converted taxis to replenish Fiat Ireland’s stock.
Bill Scott, Invest NI’s Director of Engineering and Business Services, said: “PVS has demonstrated a high level of entrepreneurship by recognising and exploiting the gap in the Republic of Ireland market for high-specification converted vehicles. The company is now reaping the benefits of targeting external markets, through this lucrative contract with Fiat Ireland. A clear focus on product and process development has resulted in this deal, demonstrating the importance of innovation for business success.
“Local companies such as PVS, which develop the capacity to deliver superior products and services, can become more competitive in export markets and make a greater contribution to the Northern Ireland economy,” added Mr Scott.
Kevin Quinn, Managing Director of PVS, said: “Thanks to Invest NI’s help, our potential market is much larger as we can now convert vehicles to meet required specifications in the Republic of Ireland and Europe. This contract with Fiat Ireland is our first significant deal outside Northern Ireland since we developed the capability to convert the Fiat Scudo to the necessary legislative standard. It represents a real breakthrough for our company, and we will continue to target customers in the Republic of Ireland and other EU countries to increase our profits.
“The final converted products have a number of advanced functions. They have additional security features, allow more space for wheelchairs and have improved internal electronics such as taxi fare meters, receipt printers and intercoms. Another aspect of the converted vehicles is a system to improve communication between the driver and passengers with hearing aids.”
Invest NI has also previously offered a range of support for PVS, including assistance with information systems and export marketing.