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New models - LDV - V80

LDV kicks off fresh van assault with V80

V max: The V80 is on sale now, but LDV has confirmed that commuter bus and a cab chassis versions are on the way in 2015.

V80 van back on sale from $29,990 driveaway as LDV ramps up for 2015

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LDV logo4 Nov 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

CHINESE light commercial brand LDV has officially relaunched in Australia, with its V80 van back on sale from $29,990 driveaway ahead of a range and dealer network expansion next year.

Under the stewardship of independent distributor Ateco Automotive, the fledgling brand has implemented an aggressive pricing strategy – revealed at a dealer launch in late October – for its fresh offering in a bid to attract attention in the increasingly busy commercial van market.

In a further boost to the local line-up, the V80 will be offered with an optional six-speed automated manual transmission from early next year, effectively doubling the range from three to six variants.

The pricing structure for the LDV range is based on ABN holders in a bid to cater to business buyers, and the $29,990 driveaway price is for the entry-level short-wheelbase (SWB) V80 matched with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The addition of the automated manual will add an extra $2000 to the price, with LDV pointing out that most competitors charge at least $2500 for a self shifter.

This SWB V80 price point undercuts diesel-powered versions of the Toyota HiAce LWB ($32,990 plus on-road costs), the Hyundai iLoad CRDi ($36,490 plus on-roads) and the Renault Trafic SWB which is currently retailing for $32,990 driveaway.

All V80s are powered by the Euro 4-compliant VM Motori-sourced 100kW/330Nm 2.5-litre turbo-diesel engine, and SWB versions offer 6400 litres of cargo space and a 1160kg payload, which Ateco says allows for up to two standard pallets.

The payload and cargo capacity exceeds the iLoad’s 1113kg by 47kg and the HiAce's 965kg by 195kg, but it cannot beat the Renault’s figure of 1244kg.

It does, however, win in the cargo capacity stakes, with the Trafic offering 5000 litres, the iLoad 4426L and the HiAce 6000L.

The V80 features dual sliding side doors, rear barn doors that can be opened to 180 degrees and rear parking sensors, while standard cabin equipment includes air-conditioning, electric windows/mirrors, cruise control and keyless entry.

Moving up the V80 range, LDV offers the larger long-wheelbase (LWB) mid-roof and high-roof versions in manual guise from $34,990 and $36,990 driveaway respectively.

Payload rises to 1480kg for these two variants, with the mid-roof offering 10,400 litres of cargo capacity and the high-roof swallowing 11,600L.

A further addition to the line-up that is set to roll into LDV dealerships in March next year will be a cab chassis version of the LWB V80 with a manual gearbox, as an automatic has not been made available at the Chinese factory.

It is believed it will be offered both with and without a tray, and while pricing is yet to be revealed expect the LDV hauler to kick off from about $29,990 driveaway.

Payload for the cab chassis is 1255kg, while the drop-side steel tray measures 3500mm long, 2000mm wide and 370mm high.

This version of the V80 will go up against cab chassis versions of European models such as the Renault Master, Fiat Ducato and Volkswagen Crafter.

Also arriving early in next year will be an 11-seat and 14-seat commuter bus aimed squarely at taking market share from the segment-dominating Toyota HiAce Bus as well as the forthcoming new-generation Ford Transit Bus (due next year) and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 12-seat Minibus.

Pricing is also yet to be confirmed but specifications will match that of the regular V80, except for the addition of both front and rear air-conditioning for passengers as well as a retractable electronic auxiliary step for ease of entry and egress.

The 11-seater is based on the SWB and the 14-seater is spawned from the LWB high-roof. Both variants will use the automated manual transmission only.

Ateco Automotive’s Asian brands spokesman Daniel Cotterill told GoAuto that the LDV brand had 35 dealerships as at the dealer launch last week, with 40 expected by the end of this year and a plan to have 60 operational by the end of 2015.

Mr Cotterill said metro areas will be the focus initially for the dealer network expansion, but regional and rural areas would follow.

“There is great potential for growth particularly in regional areas, as more and more passenger-oriented models come onboard,” he said.

Mr Cotterill suggested a targeted marketing approach for LDV in Australia was likely, commencing in the coming weeks.

“It’s very tightly focused. There will be a lot of concentration on fleet customers and fleet leads.

“Marketing, like every activity, is constrained by the amount of budget you can sensibly throw at it. The marketing will be very clearly and very tightly focused on the people that we think will buy these cars.” As reported exclusively by GoAuto in July, Ateco took over the distribution of LDV in Australia after Sydney-based WMC Group attempted to get the brand going in late 2012/early 2013 with little success.

LDV V80 pricing*
SWB$29,990
SWB (a)$31,990
LWB mid-roof$34,990
LWB mid-roof (a)$36,990
LWB high-roof$36,990
LWB high-roof (a)$38,990
*ABN holder driveaway pricing.

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