LDV is to launch Euro6 compliant derivatives of its V80 large van in April 2018.

The model went on sale in the UK following its unveiling at the 2016 Commercial Show but since the Euro6 emissions standard became mandatory for new LCVs in September, Harris Automotive, which distributes the SAIC-owned brand in the UK and Ireland, has been marketing the Euro5 V80 under an IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) classification – a legal category that is more commonly used to cover LCV conversions.

Harris’s Mark Barrett told What Van? the importer has sold 1,300 V80 vans in the UK and Ireland in the last 16 months, with the vast majority going to the UK, and is aiming for at least 1,000 sales in 2017 alone.

Barrett said the main target market is tradesmen, “butchers, bakers and candlestick makers”, but added LDV is also supplying the van to rental companies to build up volume.

Barrett identified the Citroen Relay and Peugeot Boxer as competitors Harris would target for the V80 but also claimed the model was attracting interest from operators currently running Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, due to its cheaper price.

“You can buy three V80s for the price of two Sprinters,” he said.

Barrett said Harris was continuing to steadily build up its dealer network in the UK and had already increased its number of partners in Northern Ireland and the UK from four to 30 in 2017.

The V80 range has a starting price of £15,863, excluding VAT. It is available in four versions, short-wheelbase, low roof (SLR), long-wheelbase, medium roof, (LMR), long-wheelbase, high roof and chassis cab.

The V80 was formerly sold as the Maxus before LDV went into administration when its previous owner, Russian company Gaz, succumbed to financial pressure in 2009. Chinese giant SAIC bought the rights to the brand the following year.

The V80 has inherited the 2.5-litre, 136hp diesel engine that also powered the Maxus, however, LDV is to supplement the line-up with an electric version, the EV80, in November. It claimed a 56kW battery gave the plug-in model a range of 120 miles. The EV80 is offered as a chassis cab and as an LMR panel van and will be priced at around £53,000, excluding VAT and before the 20% Plug-in-Van Grant.

Barrett said: “For drivers in the London area hefty congestion charges and road fund licence are a thing of the past behind the wheel of an EV80 and, in the main, EVs are cheaper to run over short distances.”