LDV commercial vehicles will return to UK with four new models by the end of this decade, after Irish distribution group Harris secured the supply rights for the UK and Ireland.
Chinese-owned LDV will initially launch the V80 van (see pictures, above), a continuation of the Maxis van. It is available from next month in four variants, costing from £17,150.
Short wheelbase, low roof
Long wheelbase, medium roof
Long wheelbase, high roof
SAIC, which bought the rights to the defunct LDV brand in 2010, also announced that it will invest $2.2bn in the brand by 2020, including launching an SUV, a 4x4 pick-up and an all-new version of the G10 people carrier, which is currently on sale in Australia
The V80 is powered by a 2.5-litre 136hp diesel engine, which has been designed by Italian engine manufacturer VM Motori.
Payload is rated at 1204kg for the low roof model, 1419kg for the medium roof version and 1389kg for the high roof V80.
LDV is claiming a load area of 6.4m3 of volume in the short wheelbase model, while long wheelbase models are capable of carrying 10.4m3 and 11.6m3 in the medium-and high-roof models respectively.
Standard equipment offered with the V80 includes rear parking sensors, air conditioning, cruise control and daytime running lights, while inside, the vehicle features Bluetooth, an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat and a radio with MP3 connectivity.
The warranty on all LDV V80 vans is for five years or 200,000 miles and includes five years roadside assistance cover as standard, LDV said.
According to the Harris Group, it has started to build a dealer network in UK. “Today’s launch is phase one of LDV’s return to our markets. The V80 is a great van with all the right credentials,” said Liam O Neill, vice president of the Harris Group. “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, with the addition of new LDV variants including a G10 panel van and MPV, a 4x4 pick-up and an LDV SUV and the return of the much-loved LDV minibus range,” O’Neill continued.
LDV went into administration in 2009 after then-owner, Russia’s Gaz ran out of money. Gaz asked the Government for a £30m bail-out, which was refused after it was discovered that LDV had been losing money for four years prior to its demise.