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Rebranding during a global crisis: How LDV will become MAXUS

30 April 2020 #Features & Interviews #TNB News

Coronavirus has had an impact on every business, but for van manufacturer LDV, the timing was particularly problematic.

The well-known brand was about to undertake a major rebranding and rebadging exercise ahead of important new model launches in line with its ambitious growth strategy.

But plans to give the new brand – MAXUS – a grand unveil at this year’s CV Show were thrown into a spin by lockdown and bosses at Harris Automotive Distributors, the company behind the new brand in the UK and Ireland, were left with a headache.

Thankfully though, technology has come to the rescue and the official launch of the new MAXUS brand, along with two important new models – DELIVER 9 and eDELIVER 3 – will now take place virtually, with both media and potential customers taking part online.

The first event, which is exclusive to members of the press, will feature an introduction to the vehicles by Mark Barrett, General Manager of Harris Automotive.  Mark will walk viewers through both the DELIVER 9 and eDELIVER 3, highlight key features of each and conclude with a live Q&A session.

Following this, fleet buyers, sole traders, green energy enthusiasts and anyone with an interest in the automotive market will be invited to join MAXUS for the virtual launch across digital platforms. The online vehicle launch follows the rebrand of LDV to MAXUS, along with the impending launch of a new MAXUS website and the rebadging of MAXUS-branded social media platforms.

Speaking about the virtual launch, Mark Barrett, said: “We were genuinely gutted when we heard that CV Show 2020 was cancelled, but it was the right and only decision to take.  We will now be launching our new vehicles a little later than scheduled, but we are confident that our new platform LCVs are worth the wait.

“A public launch event is not an option right now with the health and safety of our customers, our dealerships, staff and industry colleagues our number one priority. But we are nothing if not innovative, so a virtual launch makes sense on this occasion.   The show must go on.”

He added: “Things are changing rapidly for all businesses right now but we are fortunate in that we are ready to adapt. MAXUS is a dynamic brand and we see this as an opportunity to show people just how cutting-edge our brand and vans are from the comfort of their own homes or workplaces.”

As part of the rebranding exercise, MAXUS sees itself as a brand for everyone and the addition of two new and very different models to its line-up goes some way to underscoring that claim.

The MAXUS eDELIVER 3 is a fully electric small van of zero emissions with a range of up to 198 miles  (NEDC) or 150 miles (combined WLTP) on a single charge of its 52.5kWh battery  It is billed as the little brother to its predecessor, the EV80, but is the first vehicle by MAXUS that is only available as a fully electric model with no other powertrain options

Meanwhile, the all new DELIVER 9 is a completely new platform and drivetrain with cutting-edge design and a powerful yet efficient 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine (163pf and 375Nm). Available in a choice of four lengths, three heights, van and chassis variants and a choice of front or rear wheel drive, the all new MAXUS DELIVER 9 is on another level.  Full details, spec and pricing will be revealed on the day of the virtual launch. Date to be confirmed towards the end of May/ early June.

But what about the rebranding? LDV is a long-established and well-known name in the UK so why change it?

Well, the move will bring the UK and Ireland in line with other global markets, where manufacturer SAIC – China’s largest automotive manufacturer and owner of the LDV name since 2009 – has been trading as MAXUS for some time. Currently, MAXUS vehicles are distributed to almost 50 countries worldwide.

The name itself is a combinations of the word ‘MAX’, meaning unlimited or vast, and ‘US’, meaning everybody or every user.

Mark Barrett explained, “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.”

He continued, “As the MAXUS brand grows, both in China and across Europe, and with more and more models and variants being introduced to the market, it makes sense for us to align with the global MAXUS brand.  As a company and main distributor, we are really excited to be part of this evolution and I think that our enhanced offering will inject new life into the LCV market.

“The rebrand, together with the arrival to market of our two new platform vehicles is a significant step for the brand in what is a highly competitive market.  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 125,000 miles / 200,000 km 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 wider range of body variants.”

Barrett concluded, “MAXUS is set to become synonymous with electric driving and, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis, we’re confident that the MAXUS EV range will be one of the top two selling EV LCVs for 2020.”

Customers and members of the public can register their interest in the virtual launch by signing up here RSVP@planit.ie.   They will be contacted by email with details of date, time and a link to the virtual launch.

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