LDV has fired a shot across the bow of Mercedes-Benz with the launch of its new LDV Deliver 9 large van in Australia, drawing direct comparisons with Benz’s class sales leading Sprinter.
The company is aiming its new commercial contender squarely at Australian businesses, both big and small, stating the new van sets ‘fresh benchmarks in the 3.5-8.0-tonne commercial vehicle segment’.
The company claims it delivers more load volume as well as similar performance and equipment to the Sprinter but at a price point up to $25,000 less than the German market leader.
LDV says that the Deliver 9 is being positioned against established rivals like the Sprinter, Fiat’s Ducato and VW’s Crafter, underlining the fact that the Deliver 9 is now the most affordable model in the segment.
The company is targeting sole traders and SMEs along with nationally-recognised transport companies and corporate fleets.
The Deliver 9 will be available in three van configurations including the standard wheelbase MR (mid roof), the long wheelbase MR, and the long wheelbase HR (high roof). There will also be a cab chassis option, as well as 11 or 14-seat bus variants.
Power comes from LDV’s own two-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel, which pumps out maximum power of 110kW and torque of 375Nm. The engine is available with stop/start technology, and is mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
Power is fed to the road via a rear-wheel drive layout, with the real value proposition lying in a suite of safety equipment including autonomous emergency braking, Bosch’s latest generation ESC, lane departure warning and an extensive array of airbags.
It also comes with adaptive cruise control on auto transmissions, reverse parking sensors and Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth phone connectivity, operated by a big 10.0-inch infotainment screen.
The load area looks to be very versatile on all the van variants with a 1.2m wide side door, and 180-degree opening rear doors. A $1,500 option pack adds rear doors that will open to 236-degrees, blind spot detection, lane change assist, and keyless entry.
The load area will take two standard Australian pallets between the wheel arches, and three Euro pallets. The long wheelbase MR Deliver 9 offers a cubic capacity of 10.97-cubic metres and a payload of 1,670kg (for the manual).
Interestingly, to emphasise the value for money pluses for the Deliver 9, LDV has quoted an equation that divides the van’s cubic capacity and payload by the recommended purchase price of $42,095 for the long wheelbase MR.
They’ve come up with a cost of $3,837 per cubic metre of volume and $25.21 per kg of payload, which makes it is something like 60 per cent more cost effective than the Benz Sprinter.
Some may never be swayed by the cost advantages the LDV delivers and will always favour the more expensive and established Mercedes brand, but the pricing and equipment levels on the Deliver 9 deliver a compelling rationale for the LDV machine.
LDV’s general manager, Dinesh Chinnappa says the company has had a laser-like focus on delivering exactly what Australian businesses need in 2020 with space, technology, safety and value-for-money
“That makes the new LDV Deliver 9 truly fit for purpose,” Chinnappa said. “The Deliver 9 wins on three key product truths, it carries more for less, it’s loaded with technology and safety, and it’s the segment price leader.”
A division of SAIC Motor, LDV is certain its value proposition is better than the opposition, and that it’s more than comparable across a range of key criteria.
“Despite headwinds, 2020 has seen continued growth for the LDV brand and the Deliver 9 is an important building block in our growth strategy,” Chinnappa added.
“We’re excited about the opportunity it brings, it is not just a price story, we’ve taken a single-minded approach to safety, connectivity and functionality – in any competitive face-off the all-new Deliver 9 more than holds its own.”
LDV distributor Ateco also unveiled a comprehensive capped price servicing programme for Deliver 9 in a move the company says will further support its key target audiences.
The Deliver 9’s first service is at 5,00km, with all subsequent serving at 30,000km or one year intervals.
LDV is offering Deliver 9 with a three year/160,000km warranty and it will be sold through a national network of 82 dealers. We’ll bring a full road test of the new Deliver 9 variants in coming weeks.