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by Tim Beissmann

Fledging Chinese commercial vehicle importer WMC Group has been forced to change the name of its upcoming van range from Maxus to LDV for the Australian market.

WMC explained the decision to change the name of its vans was made to avoid a clash of trademarks with an Australian company, which uses the Maxus name for its range of truck and trailer components.

The two companies have been in negotiations for several months over the use of the Maxus name but were unable to reach deal.

WMC Group CEO Jason Pecotic admitted it was disappointing the vehicles would not be sold under their global name in Australia, but said he was confident the LDV name would be well received by local customers given LDV branding was previously used to market the vehicles in Europe.

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

“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.”

Originally confirmed for Australia in March, WMC will introduce a range of seven LDV V80 vans in Australia in the final quarter of this year, including four passenger models and three cargo variants.

With short- and long-wheelbase variants and standard- and high-roof options, the range will offer a load capacity of up to 14 cubic metres, a maximum payload of 1.8 tonnes and the capacity to seat up to 15 passengers.

The LDV V80 range will be powered by a 2.5-litre VM Motori diesel engine with 100kW and 330Nm of torque.

Full pricing and specification details will be revealed closer to the vans’ local launch.

Read CarAdvice’s review of the LDV V80.