By Barry Green
Just weeks after its arrival in Australia, the LDV T60 Ute has achieved five stars from independent Australasian crash test authority, ANCAP, the first time a Chinese commercial vehicle has achieved this benchmark rating.
The T60 is available in double cab with four-wheel drive and high and low range. Under the bonnet is a turbo-diesel engine with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed auto transmissions.
There are two trim and equipment versions: PRO, the workhorse, and LUXE (pictured), aimed at the buyer seeking a dual purpose or family lifestyle ute.
LDV has also raised the stakes with the T60’s warranty, taking it out to five years and 130,000km, along with a 10-year body anti-perforation coverage. Service intervals are 15,000km or 12 months – whichever comes first.
Expected to follow the 4×4 dual cab are a 4×2, single cab and tray back models to complete the T60 range.
The T60 opens its account in Australia for ABN holders at $28,990 drive away for the PRO manual. The LUXE manual starts at $32,990. Auto adds $2000 in both instances. RRPs are $30,516 (PRO manual), $32,624 (PRO auto), $34,726 (LUXE manual) and $36,831 (LUXE auto).
LDV is a division of SAIC (Shanghai Automobile and Industrial Corporation), the largest and oldest automotive manufacturer in China. SAIC sold more than 5.9 million vehicles in 2015, more than six million in 2016 and its set to top the seven million mark in 2017. It was the first company to enter joint ventures with non-Chinese car makers and its relationships include Volkswagen, IVECO and General Motors.
In 2009, SAIC acquired LDV, the light commercial vehicle division born from the Anglo-Dutch commercial vehicle company, Leyland DAF. This purchase included the LDV V80 platform, newly developed for production in Europe and Asia.