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Future models - LDV - V80

More Chinese vehicles delayed

Not yet: LDV’s V80 van range will now make its Australian debut in early 2013.

ADR glitch sets back local launch of LDV vans until first quarter of 2013

LDV logo12 Nov 2012

By RON HAMMERTON

AS one more new Chinese vehicle – the Foton Tunland – belatedly arrives on Australian roads this week, the debut of another – LDV – has been postponed again, this time until early next year.

Such delays have become par for the course with Chinese vehicles, underscoring the inexperience of Chinese manufacturers in bringing vehicles to market under Australia’s strict Australian Design Rules and competitive environment.

The Beijing-made Foton Tunland ute is due for launch tomorrow on the Gold Coast, about six months later than fledgling importer FAA (Foton Automotive Australia) hoped to release the big pick-up here.

Originally, rival importer WMC Group was to have imported the Tunland from January this year, but tore up the agreement over pricing that WMC believed was uncompetitive in this market against established players.

FAA then took on the brand, telling journalists it hoped to bring the diesel-powered utes to market by May this year, although it added that it did not want to rush the product into showrooms.

48 center imageLeft: LDV V80.

In Sydney, WMC – which already imports Chinese-made Higer buses and JAC trucks – has delayed the local launch of its next Chinese vehicle venture, LDV.

The media launch for the LDV V80 van range from China’s biggest motor manufacturer, Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation (SAIC), originally had been slated for October, but was delayed to this month.

Now a minor ADR glitch – since rectified – has forced the importer to delay the event until after Christmas.

The scenario has been common among importers trying to get in on the ground floor with Chinese manufacturers.

Perth-based Chinese Automotive Distributors (CAD) has had multiple delays with its plans to roll out the Geely passenger-car range and ZX Auto utes across Australia.

Although the Geely MK went on sale in Perth in 2010, the planned release of other Geely models nationally has been pushed out several times, with the brand now set to kick off on the east coast in 2013.

ZX Auto GrandTiger – a direct competitor for the pioneering Great Wall ute range in Australia – was also meant to be on the market nationally by now, but instead will launch in WA first before landing in eastern states about April next year.

WMC’s LDV range – formerly known as Maxus before the name had to be changed due to a conflict with an aftermarket truck component range – was originally designed and built in Britain by Leyland DAF Vehicles before SAIC bought the company and transferred the operation to China.

The vans will be powered by a VM Motori 2.5-litre diesel engine and sold in cargo and passenger van variants with a cab-chassis ute to arrive later.

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