- Happy first birthday to resurrected LDV brand
- All-electric EG10 people carrier is the show star
- V80 large van is still the only customer product...
Long-standing – and previously British – van brand LDV made a return to the UK under its new Chinese ownership at the 2016 CV Show. And it’s here again at the CV Show 2017, with one of the largest stands of any van manufacturer, a wide range of products and talk of good success with its resurrection thus far.
Most of the models on display are based on the V80 large van, which was the relaunch model for LDV last year. In addition to three panel van variants there’s also a tipper, dropside and Luton – all conversions that are currently available from stock.
However, there is also an example of the mid-sized G10 panel van on display – even if it’s not yet available in the UK – and the company is showing a production-ready prototype of an all-electric people carrier called the EG10.
What’s the good news about LDV?
Without the very latest safety and manufacturing innovations available from rival van makers, LDV is sensibly playing the value card – after all, the V80 is based on the old LDV Maxus, so it’s cheap to build.
It’s also only sold with a single engine and in a single trim specification, cutting down on manufacturing costs still further, and offering potential customers the least confusing range imaginable.
Add in the five-year warranty, five years of roadside assistance and a five-year finance package that offers a monthly cost of just £168, and you can see why low budget owner-operators could be tempted.
What’s the bad news about LDV?
The biggest issue at the moment is the lack of a Euro 6 diesel engine – which means while the V80 is available from stock, according to the general manager of UK and Ireland importers Harris Automotive, Mark Barrett, it’ll be 18 months or so before a shipment arrives with an engine that complies with these latest emissions regulations.
This is the same reason the E10 – and the T60 pickup, which is now on sale in Australia and New Zealand – won’t be available on these shores until 2019. Although the possibility of importing a few petrol-powered medium vans is currently being considered. Barrett also confirms that LDV’s owners SAIC are deadly serious about alternative fuels, with hybrids and all-electric vans under consideration. There’s an all-electric EV80 on the stand, too.
How’s the relaunch going?
Well, LDV started with eight dealers last year, and now has 24 – so there’s definitely been progress. The target is for 30 dealers to be in position by the end of 2017. Customer feedback is apparently good, with praise for the fuel economy, comfort and performance.
The plan is to sell 1,000 vans by the end of this year, 2,500 in 2018, and then 11,000 in 2019. That sounds like a big leap, but that year should see the arrival of the E10 medium van and T60 pickup, which should bring in more customers – perhaps assisted by a D90 passenger SUV.