LDV or Maxus – What’s in a name ?

I think its fair to say that if you asked most people over a certain age “Have they heard of LDV ?” The answer would be affirmative and that’s even from people outside the commercial vehicle industry.

Perhaps the more interesting question would be “What does the LDV name represent when you think about it?” The answer to that question, is probably what’s behind the Harris Group and Shanghai Automotives (SAIC) decision to “swap” the name from LDV to Maxus.

There can be no doubt LDV still has a brand identity and to be truthful one that was formed over 40 years ago in days of the Convoy and Pilot. Even in the days of the demise of Leyland as a brand and LDV Vans separated from its former owners with a management buy out, the cash strapped company continued producing vans that one could say were past their sell buy date. Indeed the brand would have gone a long time before the Russian company GAZ stepped in the middle of 2006 if it wasn’t for three keys saviours.

  • Fleet deals with the likes of the Post Office
  • Minibuses / School buses
  • They were cheap !

Of course as we all know the GAZ ownership didn’t last long and roll onto the last few years and we see the global automotive giant Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) taking the reins and they aren’t standing still!

In 2015, the well known Harris Group in Dublin owned by Pino Harris and after his death, his wife Denise,were appointed with exclusive rights to the right hand drive markets in Europe ( mainly UK, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus) and the relationship continues to blossom.

Looking to the future Harris have decided from April this year to rebrand LDV as MAXUS across right-hand drive Europe.

“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.

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 3.

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.

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.  

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