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by Tim Beissmann

The new Australian distributor of Chinese light-commercial vehicle manufacturer LDV plans to introduce a number of new models following the relaunch of the brand later this year.

Ateco Automotive, Australia’s largest independent vehicle importer, has taken over responsibility for the importation and distribution of LDV vehicles from White Motor Corporation (WMC), which began selling the LDV V80 van out of 30 dealerships across the country at the beginning of 2013.

LDV’s relaunch will be overseen by Ateco Automotive general manager of new ventures Dinesh Chinnappa, who claims to be “very bullish” about the brand and optimistic about its ability to gain a broader market acceptance in Australia.

Ateco is promising an “expanded national dealer network, enhanced service and parts support and an increase in overall competitiveness”, along with “revisions to the model line-up and more competitive pricing”.

“We are genuinely excited by the impending arrival of automatics across the V80 range (including 11- and 14-seat buses) and a smaller one-tonne van and people mover,” Chinnappa revealed.

WMC offered three V80 variants in Australia: a $30,800 low-roof short-wheelbase commercial van, a $37,990 mid-roof long-wheelbase, and a $39,990 high-roof LWB.

LDV is owned by the Shanghai Motor Commercial Vehicles Company (SMVC), a subsidiary of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), a powerhouse Chinese car maker that produced five million vehicles last year.

SAIC purchased the former British-owned LDV in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.

LDV joins fellow Chinese companies Chery, Foton and Great Wall in Ateco’s stable alongside Lotus and Ssangyong, and Maserati, which is managed by offshoot company European Automotive Imports.




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