The sale of the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO), Greece’s major vehicle manufacturer based in Thessaloniki, to an Israeli-interest consortium of Naska Industries – SK Group Ltd, Plasan Sasa Ltd, and Aristidis Glinis appears to have successfully concluded.
According to sources, it was announced the Israeli consortium was deemed the highest bidder in the public tender for the sale of ELVO’s assets.
Cumulatively, the money that is expected to be invested in ELVO will exceed 90 million euros in the long run, while the Greek State has the right to enter the new ELVO after a three-year period with a 21% stake
A relevant article in the Turkish newspaper “Yeni Safak” reported, among other things: “Israel in Greece: It has bought an armoured vehicle company and wants to set foot on our doorstep.”
The article also reports on “close military relations that have developed in recent years between Greece and Israel” and in terms of military supplies and cooperatives with shipyards and corvettes.
“Israel, which lays claims in the Eastern Mediterranean and has recently carried out many exercises with Greece, has now bought the largest armoured vehicle company in the country. The consortium of Plasan and SG Group of Israel, acquired the company ELVO, the best supplier of armoured vehicles of the Greek Army“, the article notes.
The SK Group and Plasan consortium of Israeli interests is the only group that submitted a binding offer to acquire the problematic state-owned company. Greek businessman Aristides Glinis will most likely be the head of the Greek company and once the procedures are completed, the investors will undertake to set up the new company within 3 months.
According to sources, the types of vehicles to be manufactured by the new ELVO will be three and will include military vehicles, special type vehicles, and civilian vehicles. However, other products may be included such as mobile arms, vehicle shielding systems, and electro-optical equipment.
Israeli Plasan already builds two vehicles, the Guarder and the SandCat.
The Guarder is an armoured bus for police repression forces, which is based on the chassis of the German MAN SE (4X4) with a capacity of 25 men. The SandCat is a four- or five-man armoured vehicle based on the chassis of the US Ford F-350 and F-550 civilian trucks.
The vehicles are fitted with composite armour that combines layers of metal, plastic, and ceramic material, as well as air gaps.
The specific vehicles can be used by the Greek Police but also by the Greek Army, especially following announcements of the replacement of 10,000 Mercedes and Steyr vehicles.