Chinese van maker LDV – a subsidiary of massive conglomerate SAIC, China’s bigger car-maker – is doing well enough to be considered a small success story in Australia this year.
Under importer Ateco Automotive, sales this year sit at a very respectable 625 units, up 29 per cent on the same period last year (under the same importer).
This puts it ahead of fellow Chinese brands Foton (218), MG (also a SAIC subsidiary, but using a different importer here, on 216), Haval (186) and Great Wall (137).
This growth is being driven by G10 van (274 units) and its people-mover spin-off (222). The older V80 has 118 sales, and its bus spin-off 11.
The combined commercial van sales of the G10 and V80 mean the Chinese workhorses have outsold the much better-known Ford Transit family, and the Mercedes-Benz Vito.
Meanwhile the 222 sales of the G10 people-mover compares to 303 for the Toyota Tarago and 333 for the Volkswagen Multivan.
Moreover, LDV has much more to come, led by the new T60 dual-cab ute due in September with its 110kW/360Nm diesel engine, and the impressive-looking D90 SUV around the same time.
Measuring just over five metres long and around two metres wide, the ladder-frame D90 will take on the likes of the the Everest and Pajero Sport, plus softer offerings such as the Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Kluger. Or, perhaps, the Haval H9.
Sales of China-made cars sit at 1396 units this year, up 67 per cent.