Chinese-owned commercial vehicle specialist, LDV, is planning to launch its ute next year to compete with the likes of the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger.
Speaking yesterday at the launch of the LDV G10 turbo-diesel van, Chinese executives confirmed the timing for the pick-up launch for our market as around mid 2017. The company expects it to claim 10 per cent market share in the 4x4 and 4x2 segments. The ute, still to be officially named, will be unveiled at the Guangzhou motor show next month.
The Chinese utes will be available in all body styles, with petrol and diesel powertrains matched to automatic and manual transmissions.
Although specific powertrains are yet to be confirmed, a 2.8-litre turbo diesel has been put forwarded as the heart of the diesel range.
Australian distributor Ateco expects the new LDV ute to achieve a five-star ANCAP safety rating. More, the company claims the product will be right up there with the Japanese players in terms of quality.
Above: Budget van comparison: Citroen Berlingo v LDV G10 v VW Caddy. Read it here.
“We are in the market with LDV, going two years - we don’t have to apologise for the product at all. The quality is fantastic, we see the quality of the utility right up there with the Japanese, and we would like to think we are better value and we are not selling it as a cheap Chinese vehicle,” Said Ateco boss Neville Crichton.
“We would see it a little bit under the Japanese but not by a great deal. Quality-wise, it's already there. Size-wise, [it is] pretty close to a Ford Ranger.”
Asked what would give Australian buyers a reason to ditch the established brands in favour of the Chinese, Crichton admitted that pricing will play a crucial part.
The ute will then be followed by an SUV based on the same platform, as well as additional smaller vans and SUVs on yet another platform starting from 2018.
LDV currently has 43 dealers in Australia and expects to have around 80 by the of 2017.