LDV returns as Chinese firm SAIC invests $2.2bn

Business, Finance | Wed 13 Jan | Author – Business & Finance
motorway road lights Bob McCaffrey

A $2.2bn investment is being made in the LDV motor brand by SAIC, China’s largest automotive company.

LDV stopped production in 2008 but has now returned, making its European debut in Ireland today.

SAIC has awarded distribution rights for LDV to one of Ireland’s oldest automotive distributors, the family-owned Harris Group, which showcased the all-new LDV to the Irish and UK markets today at Citywest.

LDV vans are manufactured in China by SAIC Maxus, a Fortune Global 500 company that builds over 6 million vehicles per year.

By 2020, SAIC will have invested $2.2bn in growing and developing the LDV brand globally, including the launch of a new SUV, a 4×4 Pick-up and the all-new G10.

Liam O’Neill, vice president of the Harris Group, stated: “Commercial van sales were the first to go when the recession kicked in, but the market for this category has been revived with sales in Ireland growing by more than 40% in 2015, outperforming both the passenger and heavy vehicle categories. We anticipate significant further growth for 2016 and beyond and this positive prediction is shared by the team at SAIC Maxus, which is showing huge support for the relaunch of the LDV brand.

“There are a lot of similarities between how business is done in China and how it is conducted in our markets. Building strong, personal relationships that are built on mutual trust was critical to the success of the agreement.”

The Harris Group has already started building an LDV dealer network in both markets and the medium-term goal is to create a strategic network of dealers in the UK and Ireland.

Photo: Bob McCaffrey