The recent launch of the LDV V80 cargo van range signals the first entry into the Australian market for China’s largest automotive manufacturer and could potentially be a game changer in the hotly contested van market.
Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation or SAIC is the largest automotive company in China and has long standing joint ventures with two of the world’s largest automotive companies, GM and VW.
SAIC is actively engaged in manufacturing, sales, R&D and investment in passenger cars, commercial vehicles and components registering annual sales of more than four million vehicles generating more than $AUD 51 billion in 2011.
According to Neil Bamford, CEO of WMC, the Australian distributor of LDV, SAIC brings vast resources and expertise to the market delivering high levels of build quality, specifications, standard features and comfort.
“No manufacturer in China has as much expertise and ability as SAIC and with the LDV’s established European design and engineering we have a package that will go toe to toe with any of the established European, Japanese or Korean vans on the Australian market.
SAIC purchased the British commercial vehicle operation and intellectual rights to the van from the company in 2009 and has invested in further R&D and engineering to ensure it meets the latest European standards.
WMC will initially launch a three model range of LDV V80 cargo vans, followed by a number of passenger vans and cab chassis models later in 2013.
The initial line-up will include a single short wheelbase variant as well as long wheel base cargo vans with the choice of either a mid roof height or a high roof version. The range will feature load capacity of between nine and 12 cubic metres and a payload of up to 1.8 tonnes.
The LDV vehicles will also come with a high level of standard features which are not available or are optioned on other brands.
These standard features include rear barn doors; 16″ alloy wheels, dual sliding side and wide opening 180 degree rear barn doors.
LDV vans meet European crash and safety standards and the VM Motori diesel meets the latest emission standards. The LDV van suspension and handling has also been tuned by MIRA, one of the leading automotive design and engineering consultants in Europe.