T60 Ute drives LDV sales up 126 per cent in February
Higher sales and share for the market leader
Chinese vehicle maker LDV has got 2018 off to a flying start with its Australian sales increasing by 126.5 per cent in February compared to the same month last year according to official VFACTS released today (5 March 2018).
Although the increase is largely driven by newly launched LDV T60 Ute, the company’s vans are also performing strongly with the G10 one tonne van seeing its sales lift by 47 per cent in the first two months of 2018 and the large V80 van range lifting its sales by 36 per cent in January and February. The figures are completed by new LDV D90 which although in short supply is contributing as planned.
Amongst car and light commercial brands, LDV is the fastest growing brand in Australia so far this year.
“We know that by moving from the van sector, which is little more than two percent of the market, into a sector that accounts for more than 25 percent of the market would have a transformative effect on our business,” says Dinesh Chinnappa, General Manager of LDV Australia.
But the speed at which the T60’s sales have taken off has genuinely surprised us. Added to that the interest around the launch of T60 has clearly raised the profile of our van range and their sales have benefited from the halo effect of the arrival of the LDV T60.
The profile of the LDV T60 in the Australian market place was lifted substantially when just days after its launch it became the first Chinese made ute to achieve the coveted ANCAP Five Star safety status. This was followed weeks later with the company backing ‘LDV Comanche’ in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, with the yacht carrying a five metre high picture of the LDV T60 on its sails as it went on to take Line Honours and set a new race record in the classic yacht race. This was then followed by a national TV campaign using an advertisement shot in Australia.
“We started with the basics, a solid vehicle, well equipped and at a highly competitive price, but the ANCAP result not only showed we had a safe vehicle, but it also revealed the depth and quality of engineering and technology it contained,” explains Mr Chinnappa.
“LDV Comanche provided an enormous lift in awareness. Every time it appeared on TV we saw a lift in our web site traffic as people searched the internet to find out what an LDV was who made that ute on the yacht’s sails. That lift has held up weeks after the race.”
The expansion of LDV sales in Australia has also been driven by a methodical growth in the number and distribution of its dealers across Australia. The initial dealer group was developed to support a brand selling only vans, which pointed towards a dealer group not only primarily metro-oriented but even within metro areas based where van owners lived and worked.
In anticipation of the arrival of the T60 Ute and the D90 SUV, LDV has expanded its dealer group, both across the country into rural areas and a more even and dense network across metropolitan areas.
“The growth of our dealer group has been very much aligned to the arrival of the new models,” says Mr Chinnappa. “Our aim has been to ensure that dealers opened in the right place at the right time to ensure they were successful and profitable as close to their opening as possible. That is not to say we have finished hiring dealers. We will continue to expand the network in a careful and considered way that balances the need to provide our customers with appropriate levels of sales and aftersales support with the need to maintain and build the commercial viability of LDV dealers.”