LDV is back on UK shores and is keen to establish a 40-strong van dealership network and 1,000 annual sales by 2020, the region’s general manager told AM.
With backing from Chinese SAIC Maxus Irish importers Harris Automotive have brought the brand back to the UK market and as the covers were taken off the new range at the Commercial Vehicle Show at Birmingham’s NEC yesterday, Mark Barrett expressed his plans.
And they might yet include the introduction of more Chinese brands to the UK market.
Barrett said: “Our relationship with China started in 2004 when we started making trade missions to identify brands that could be successfully exported.
“In total we identified three and LDV is a very promising start for us. At Harris Automotive our investment into this project has been considerable but we feel like we are backing a winning horse.”
LDV already has ten UK dealers with 3,000 stock vehicles set to be in place by the end of August and Barrett said that each had a bonus structure based upon just over 140 sales during the first year.
But he said that the initial range comprised of a mid-sized G10 panel van, V80 panel van, the EV EV80 panel van and a Luton-type flat-bed would expand, leading to greater sales ambition.
He said: “There is an MPV and an SUV on the way and that will be another great opportunity for the dealership network. I have seen pictures of the new model and it looks fantastic.
“Everything is in place, customers can benefit from a finance package backed by our partners BNP Paribas, the offer of a five-year, 200,000-mile warranty which includes roadside assistance. It’s all there.”
Barrett said that aftersales and service were going to be a key focus of the network and revealed that spare parts would be delivered to the UK’s dealership network overnight from Ireland, where the brand was established in mid-2015.
He said: “By the end of this year we will have 16 dealerships in place in the UK and we want to expand that to 40 by 2020. We’ve already attracted quite a lot of attention and, hopefully, there will be no shortage of takers.”
MG Motors owner SAIC Maxus, the Chinese automotive giant behind LDVs resurgence, is one of the largest vehicle producers in the world, building over 6 million vehicles a year.
At the CV Show LDV unveiled its EV80 zero-emission panel van – and electrified version of the V80 panel van previously sold in the UK – which will reach the UK market by the end of the year.
Claiming a real-world range of upto 100 miles range thanks to a 75kWh, it will go up against the likes of Nissan’s e-NV200, and Barrett is hoping that businesses in London, in particular, will embrace the vehicle.
The LDV G10, meanwhile, features a 105bhp turbocharged petrol engine from launch, with a 2-litre diesel to follow.
The G10 MPV will be available with a choice of five, seven- or nine-seats, and comes with a raft of standard equipment including a touchscreen infotainment system, climate control, cruise control and keyless entry.
Barrett said: “The quality of the LDV product is very good and we know it’s going to offer great value to the BBC – butcher, baker and candlestick maker – that we are targeting with sales.
“Chinese product as a whole is getting better and better and I predict that it will be a match for Europe very soon.
“Like I said, we identified three very promising brands and I’m sure we’ll see a great influx of Chinese product to the UK market in the years to come.”