LDV is to return to the UK and Ireland after the Harris Group secured the distribution rights for the van brand - and marked its return with the launch of the LDV V80.
The vans are manufactured in China by SAIC Maxus (part of the Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation), which acquired the LDV brand in 2010.
By 2020, SAIC will have invested $2.2bn in growing and developing the brand globally, including the launch of a new SUV, a 4x4 pick-up and the all-new G10.
The Harris Group has already started building an LDV dealer network in both the UK and Ireland and the medium-term goal is to create a strategic network of retailers.
Liam O'Neill, VP of the Harris Group, said: “Commercial van sales were the first to go when the recession kicked in, but the market for this category has been revived with sales in Ireland growing by more than 40% in 2015, outperforming both the passenger and heavy vehicle categories.
“We anticipate significant further growth for 2016 and beyond and this positive prediction is shared by the team at SAIC Maxus, which is showing huge support for the re-launch of the LDV brand."
“This launch is phase one of LDV’s return to our markets. The V80 is a great van with all the right credentials,” added O'Neill.
“I am confident that the future for LDV isn’t just bright, it’s shining and there are already a number of events planned for later this year.
"The Harris Group and SAIC will have a substantial stand at the CV show in Birmingham to showcase the LDV brand in April and has many other product offerings coming on stream right through to 2018.”
The LDV V80 is currently available in four models; short wheelbase, low roof (SLR); long wheelbase, medium roof (MMR) and long wheelbase, high roof (LHR) and chassis cab (CC) with a gross vehicle weight of 3,200kg or 3,500kg.
The vans are powered by a 2.5-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, designed by Italian engine manufacturer VM Motori. It produces up to 136hp and 243lb-ft of torque