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Future models - LDV - G10

SUV on the cards for LDV

Top 10: The LDV G10 people-mover will be initially offered in seven-seat guise, but local importer Ateco Automotive is also looking into a nine-seat version for Australia.

SAIC-developed ute on the way as LDV-badged SUV firms

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LDV logo5 Nov 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

ATECO Automotive will gradually expand the line-up of its recently acquired LDV brand in Australia, with the model range set to swell to include a nine-seat people-mover, a utility and potentially, an SUV, in the coming years.

LDV has just relaunched in Australia with the V80 commercial van range from $29,990 driveaway after a false start under previous importer WMC Group. Ateco took over the brand mid-year, adding it to its stable of Chinese brands that include Chery, Great Wall and Foton.

As reported by GoAuto in July, LDV's Chinese parent company SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) is developing an all-new utility to be built in China and sold in Australia and other global markets as an alternative to mainstream offerings such as the Toyota HiLux, Mitsubishi Triton, Ford Ranger, Holden Colorado and Nissan Navara.

SAIC is believed to be keen to tap into the booming light-commercial ute market in Australia, with Chinese engineers spending some time here in the early part of development.

GoAuto understands that an SUV is under development by SAIC, and while details are scarce, timing for a local arrival for it and the utility is likely to be two to three years from now.

If SAIC produces an LDV-badged SUV, it could go up against the recently confirmed Haval SUV range that will include the H8, H9 and H2 in Australia from next year.

Haval is a sub-brand of China's Great Wall Motors, which is distributed here through Ateco Automotive.

In the short to medium term, the LDV range will grow to include a seven-seat people-mover, dubbed the G10, by the middle of next year and while pricing is yet to be confirmed, it is expected to undercut Japanese and Korean contenders such as the Honda Odyssey and Kia Carnival with a circa $30,000 starting price.

If it comes to market at this price point, it will be pitched directly against another model from the Ateco stable, SsangYong's second-generation Stavic that is available for $29,990 driveaway.

Power for the G10 comes from a 165kW four-cylinder petrol engine matched with a six-speed ZF automatic transmission.

A nine-seat version of the G10 is also believed to be under consideration for Australia and would be just one of two nine-seaters available here, including the Volkswagen Caravelle.

A cargo van version of the G10 is also on the cards and set to debut locally by the end of 2015 as a direct competitor to the dominant players in the segment, the Hyundai iLoad and Toyota HiAce as well as European fare including the Renault Trafic and Fiat Scudo.

Pricing will be available closer to launch, but given its position in the LDV range, it will almost certainly undercut the short-wheelbase version of the V80 which kicks off the range at $29,990 driveaway for business buyers with an ABN.

The 2.5-3.5-tonne light van segment makes up 1.3 per cent of the overall new-vehicle market in Australia with about eight offerings all jostling for sales, but Ateco Automotive’s Asian brands spokesperson Daniel Cotterill said LDV's G10 cargo van is good enough to compete against the top sellers.

“Competition is always tough,” he said. “We think a combination of really good quality, well known vehicle platform combined with extra competitive pricing will do the job for us.”

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