Car firm brains behind new, award-winning van design

Paul Ward, director of Shelbourne Motors, and John McMinn from Translink. INPT15-002
Paul Ward, director of Shelbourne Motors, and John McMinn from Translink. INPT15-002
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A Portadown car company has helped inspire the design for a new vehicle which has just scooped a top industry award.

Two years ago, Shelbourne Motors were commissioned to provide a range of Dacia Duster cars for Translink, but first they had to convert them into commercial vans, including removal of the rear seats to allow for 1,150 litre space.

Dacia were so impressed with the conversion that the vehicle has now gone into mass production. The SUV has been launched UK-wide as the new Duster Commercial, which retails from £9,595.

Paul Ward, director of Shelbourne Motors, said, “Translink required a van but they were very taken with the Duster car, not only because it’s a remarkably spacious vehicle but also because of its elevated driving position. Our team of engineers worked with Translink to come up with a solution and the Duster Commercial was born.

“Dacia took notice when the orders started to come in from Translink and over the past few months the manufacturer has now brought the vehicle into production.

“We’re very proud that other businesses around the UK will now be able to avail of the design thanks to the vision of our team at Shelbourne.”

The Dacia Duster Commercial 4x4 recently won Best 4x4 Van at the What Van? Awards 2016 in London.

John McMinn from Translink said, “Over the past number of years we’ve been very impressed with the Dacia conversion because it’s a reliable and robust vehicle and provided a cost benefit over similar rivals.

“Since it has moved into commercial production we will now be able to buy the vehicle directly off the production line, which will result in further savings for Translink. It’s exciting to think that two Northern Ireland companies were the brains behind this design.”