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Maxus leads way to maximise LDV

Van manufacturer LDV has retail growth squarely in its sights this year, fuelled by its expanding Maxus range.

However, in the longer term its UK sales network can expect new models sourced from its Russian owner, Gaz Group.

New Maxus variants brought to market this year will include chassis cab, 12, 15 and 17-seat minibuses and MPT crew-cab.

But Martin Leach, LDV chairman, told AM: “We’re looking at the broader range of Gaz products to maximise the franchise opportunities for our dealers.”

Former Kia and MG Rover marketing director Guy Jones was appointed LDV’s retail sales director last October and has been tasked with helping dealers target their local small businesses and organisations.

Jones said: “The real development of the network will be in getting our people, process and perspective focused on the retail market and dealing with retail customers.”

In March, LDV began a nine-month project to improve the network. It began with mystery shops and will continue with training in sales processes and product knowledge. Volume bonuses will be retained for dealerships, but sales executives’ bonuses will be linked to sales processes, such as quality of leads and follow-ups.

“Dealers need to know the market inside out and understand how LDV stands up against its competitors’ products,” said Jones.

To assist its retailers, LDV is improving their access to competitor information and will provide lead management support. It has relaunched its website with more retail customer focus, promoting its finance offers and services online and providing a blog for users to interact directly with the manufacturer.

Jones expects the 63-strong dealer network to increase to 75 this year, but says LDV wants quality representation, not just quantity. Two new appointments will be announced soon and Jones was in talks with eight other prospective dealers during last week’s CV Show.

Longer term, LDV wants better “retail visibility” and will encourage some dealers to move from their present locations, tucked away in industrial estates.

Most of LDV’s growth is expected to come from overseas markets. It has appointed a distributor in Malaysia, will launch Maxus in Russia in September and has already recruited dealers in France, Spain, and the Benelux region.

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