Greek-Israeli Consortium to Produce New Vehicles for Greek Army

An Israeli consortium of the firms SK Group and Plasan intend to acquire 90% of the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO), which will manufacture tanks for the Greek Army as well as the Greek police.

As reported in Auto News, the new company, which will be headed up by Greek businessman Aristides Glinis, will be in place within three months, according to the plans announced by the consortium.

CEO Samy Katsav from the SK Group and Dani Ziv, from Plasan, will exercise joint control over 90% of the newly-reconfigured ELVO as soon as the takeover occurs, which may happen as soon as August 27. It is thought that the Israeli venture was brought about by the consortium’s desire to make a deeper imprint into the EU/NATO and international markets.

Samy Katsav is known to have control over the firm Meprolight Ltd., through the Samy Group, as well as the firms Israel Shipyards Ltd., Uni-Scope Optical and Israeli Weapons Industries (IWI).

The Plasan company is already building two military vehicles, one of which is the “Guarder,” which is an armored police vehicle capable of carrying up to 25 men, similar to the German MAN SE (4X4). It also constructs the “Sandcat,” a much smaller, 5-man armored vehicle similar to the Ford F-150 and F-550 trucks.

The vehicles it manufactures boast composite armor comprised of layers of metal, plastic and ceramic material which have air pockets between them. Such vehicles are already exported by Plasan to countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Nigeria and Kazakhstan.

According to the Auto News report, three categories of vehicles will be constructed by the newly-reorganized ELVO, including military and civilian as well as specialized vehicles. Special features which may be added to the vehicles may include electro-optical equipment, additional vehicle shielding systems and portable armature.

It is expected that the new firm will construct 10,000 vehicles for the Greek Army as soon as it is reorganized, to replace a smilier number of Mercedes and Steyr vehicles currently in use. ELVO officials have expressed the hope that revenues of the new company will see an increase over the next decade or longer.

ELVO had its beginnings back in 1976, formed first as Stagier Hellas SA, soon producing trucks, tractors and engines. After its Austrian partners left in 1986, their share was taken over by the Greek state, at which point it was renamed ELVO. In liquidation since 2014, the company is located in the Sindos Industrial Zone