New bakkie brand launching in South Africa from May - say hello to LDV

Published Mar 25, 2024


South Africa is bakkie country and it makes sense that any global commercial vehicle brand worth its salt would look for a slice of the action in our market.

Now there’s an all-new player entering the fray and it goes by the name of LDV.

Its products hail from China but the brand does have a British back story, evolving from the UK’s Leyland DAF Vehicles, but abbreviated to LDV in modern times under the ownership of SAIC.

This Chinese automotive giant also owns the MG brand, following the bankruptcy of MG Rover in 2005, and there are also rumours of that brand returning to South Africa.

What to expect from the T60 bakkie

But for now let’s take a closer look at the LDV T60 bakkie, which is expected to go on sale in South Africa from May.

The LDV T60 is related to the Maxus electric bakkie already on sale in SA. Australian specification shown.

If it looks a little familiar your eyes are not deceiving you, as it is essentially an internal combustion version of the Maxus T90 electric double cab model that was announced locally in late 2023.

LDV is already a successful player in the Australian commercial vehicle market, which is known to be just as demanding as ours, and where it sold over 21,000 units last year.

LDV’s South African distributor says it will release more details on the local T60 line-up next week, but we do know it will be sold with a five year or 200,000km warranty and a service plan that’s valid for five years or 100,000km.

The T60’s 2.0-litre diesel engine out-powers its rivals.

In Australia the T60 is fitted with a 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine that’s good for 160kW and 500Nm, paired with four-wheel drive only, but customers can choose between six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Larger than a Hilux

The double cab bakkie measures 5365mm in length, making it slightly larger than the Toyota Hilux, but the Aussie market also gets a ‘Mega Tub’ option that sports a 315mm-longer load bin, with an equivalent wheelbase stretch.

Two different leaf spring suspension settings are offered, with the ‘Pro’ model sporting a heavy-duty set-up and the ‘Luxe’ featuring a more comfortable configuration, albeit which reduces the payload from 935kg to 750kg.

Australian specification shown.

However it remains to be seen how closely the South African range will resemble its Australian equivalent.

Other models to follow

LDV South Africa says it will offer a “comprehensive” model line-up in South Africa, starting with the T60. Other models such as the ICE equivalents of the electric Maxus panel vans, currently being used by Woolworths as delivery vehicles, are also slated for local introduction.

Interestingly, LDV also offers a large SUV called the D90 in Australia in addition to an MPV and various commercial van models.

Tested for local conditions

The LDV T60 has already undergone a rigorous testing and approval programme in South Africa.

The brand is currently appointing a national network of dealers, and construction of the first showroom in Sandton, Gauteng, has already been completed. The company says it is close to signing an agreement for a national parts distribution warehouse.

And that’s what we can tell you for now. Stay tuned for further updates on Mzansi’s newest commercial vehicle brand.

IOL Motoring