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Maxus van to be LDV in Australia

What's in a name? Badge change after WMC fails to make headway in copyright wrangle

July 3, 2012

An unresolved copyright issue means the newest commercial van to come to these shores will be known as the LDV, Australian automotive distributor WMC says.

China’s SAIC Motor Corporation had intended to badge the van as “Maxus” and WMC unveiled it
as such at this year’s Melbourne International Truck and Trailer Show in March.

However, “several months” of talks between WMC and Victorian trailer and components firm MaxiTrans, which
uses “Maxus” as the brand name for parts manufactured for subsidiary Colrain, failed to end in agreement, hence the name change.

Despite this, WMC Group CEO Jason Pecotic is confident of a positive reception for the LDV brand, the name originally used for the range when it was manufactured and marketed in Europe before SAIC bought it in 2009.

“The vans are manufactured by SAIC in China and sold around the world under the Maxus name,” Pecotic says.

“Whilst we didn’t believe there would have been any confusion, we are excited to be using the LDV name with the new range in Australia.

“LDV reflects the European heritage and design of the vans and we believe Australian buyers will embrace the brand because of the excellent value, engineering quality and equipment levels they will offer.”

The new generation of LDV V80 vans are based on a front-drive platform developed in Britain as the LDV, using common rail turbo diesel power plants by Italian maker VM Motori.

WMC is planning to launch a seven model range of LDV V80 vans from the fourth quarter of this year, with three cargo versions and four passenger models, WMC says.

The line-up will include a short wheelbase and long wheel base cargo van both with standard roof height as well as a high roof version of the long wheelbase model.

The range will feature load capacity of between nine and 14 cubic metres and a payload of up to 1.8 tonnes.

Look out for the special report on commercial vans in the next edition of ATN.

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