2020 is already shaping up to be a momentous year for LDV with today’s announcement that from April, LDV will rebrand as MAXUS across right-hand drive Europe.
The rebrand coincides with the launch of two new models that will underpin the brand’s transformation; the all-new Deliver 9 and the newest EV in the brand’s stable, the E Deliver 31.
In 2009, LDV was bought by China’s largest automotive manufacturer, SAIC, and was manufactured under the MAXUS moniker for the home market in addition to selected left-hand drive markets in Europe such as Spain, Belgium and The Netherlands.
In 2015, renowned Dublin-based distributor, The Harris Group, secured the distribution rights to the brand for the UK, Ireland and right-hand drive Europe. Harris has a strong heritage in commercial vehicles and launched the flagship V80 and electric variant, the EV80 under the LDV badge, which had retained strong brand recognition in the UK and Ireland.
The brand has since been firmly re-established in both markets with a loyal following and many marquee clients, supported by a strong dealer network, which is poised for further growth this year.
But, according to Denise Harris, CEO of The Harris Group, which was founded by her late husband, Pino in the 1960s, now is the optimum time to consolidate the brand as MAXUS enters a new era of automotive excellence.
“When it comes to changing a brand name, you have to think very seriously about the benefits and also the possible consequences, and decide if it really is the right thing to do for the brand and the wider business. The LDV brand is much-loved by many loyal customers but, with the advent of new models on new platforms that will undoubtedly change brand perceptions, I am confident that the market will welcome the transition,” said Denise Harris.
“As the MAXUS brand grows, both in China and across Europe, and with more and more models and variants being introduced to the market, it makes sense for us to align with the global MAXUS brand. As a company and main distributor, we are really excited to be part of this evolution and I think that our enhanced offering will inject new life into the LCV market.”
By April 3rd, all elements of the rebrand will be complete with new MAXUS signage and collateral across all dealerships, a new website www.saicmaxus.co.uk, and two new MAXUS models, plus variants on the road in 2020. The rebrand relates to all new platform vehicles from 2020.
Mark Barrett, general manager of MAXUS UK and Ireland said: “2020 is going to be the brand’s biggest year ever with the impending launch of our game-changing diesel panel van, the Deliver 9 and the arrival to market of MAXUS’ second EV model, the E Deliver 3, which was unveiled last year at the Commercial Vehicle Show1.
“With cutting edge design, a brand-new platform and 2.0-litre engine, the LDV Deliver 9 will be the brand’s most comprehensive and versatile offering to date. Available in a choice of three lengths, three heights and a choice of front or rear wheel drive, this van really is on another level.”
Full details, spec and pricing are still under wraps, but Mark promises a big reveal for this new model at the Commercial Vehicle (CV) Show in Birmingham in April, when it will line up alongside the E Deliver 3.
Formerly known as the EV30, the E Deliver 3 is a fully electric small van of zero emissions and an industry-leading battery range, clocking up to 198miles/320km (NEDC) / (168miles / 270km WLTP2) range on a single charge (52.5kWh battery). It has been billed as the little brother to the company’s EV80, but is the first vehicle in the range that is only available as a fully electric model.
The flagship LDV V80 (Euro 6) is one of the most competitively priced LCVs on the road, and will still be available under the LDV badge, while stocks last. The multi-award winning EV80, recognised for its industry-leading green credentials for three successive years at the GreenFleet awards (UK), will also remain under the LDV name.
MAXUS has been focused for many years on fuel innovation and the creation of light commercial electric vehicles. SAIC’s commitment to the development of alternative powertrain technology has been demonstrated by an investment of almost three quarters of a billion Euro and, according to Mark Barrett, the market can expect many more ground-breaking innovations over the coming years from the SAIC stable.
“Today’s announcement is a significant step for the brand in what is a highly competitive market,” said Mark Barrett. “Until now, LDV has been known as a challenger brand and I believe that this year will see MAXUS emerge as a leading, premium mainstream brand that will deliver on spec, quality, technology and price. We will continue to offer our class-leading, five year 125,000miles / 200,000km warranty on all new diesel vehicles, which sets us apart from many other manufacturers. And when it comes to EVs, we are able to offer a range of body variants that others can’t yet match.
“MAXUS is set to become synonymous with electric driving and we’re confident that the MAXUS EV range will be one of the top two selling EV LCVs for 2020.”
The MAXUS brand will have its first UK outing at CV show 2020 where it will have no fewer than 12 body styles on display including the Deliver 9 (L1 H1 / L2 H2 / L3 H2), Motor Home and chassis cab, together with the E Deliver 3 short wheel base and platform chassis.
The Harris Group, together with senior executives from SAIC MAXUS will formally launch the rebrand and reveal the new models on stand 5D110 / Hall 5 at 11am on April 28th.