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Maxus vans to start at $30k

To the Maxus: The Chinese-built Maxus V80 van range will arrive in Australia in late 2012 with a price advantage over some of its competitors.

Chinese-made Maxus V80 diesel set to become cheapest mid-sized diesel van

7 May 2012

CHINESE-vehicle importer WMC Group has predicted a starting price of about $30,000 for its seven-model Maxus V80 van range from China’s biggest motor manufacturer, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

This is expected to make the entry-level short-wheelbase standard-roof cargo van at least $4000 cheaper than most rival diesel vans such as the Hyundai iLoad, Toyota HiAce, Ford Transit, Renault Trafic and VW Transporter.

The Maxus brand will be launched in a 25-dealer network across Australia in October, with a cab-chassis light truck range to follow.

WMC Group managing director Jason Pecotic said he expected Maxus V80 passenger van variants to start in the low to mid-$30,000s, again well below rival minibuses.

He said all Maxus vans would not only match the specification levels of major rivals but add extras such as alloy wheels and fog lights.

All Maxus vans – designed and engineered in the UK but built in China – will be front-wheel drive, with a 100kW/330Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine using Italian VM Motori technology.

48 center imageA five-speed manual gearbox will be standard, but an alternative Aisin automatic is under development.

Australia’s top-selling van, the Hyundai iLoad, has a starting price of $29,990 for the 2.4-litre petrol cargo variant. However, the most affordable diesel variant, the 2.5 CRDi, starts at $34,490, plus on-road costs.

The diesel front-wheel drive Ford Transit starts at $35,990, while the cheapest Toyota HiAce diesel van is $37,690.

The Maxus range will include short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase variants, with low and high roof configurations, in cargo and passenger layouts.

Maxus joins other Chinese brands Higer and JAC in the WMC distribution portfolio, although Maxus will be sold through a separate retail network.

Ultimately, the main rival for Maxus might be JAC, which is preparing two right-hand-drive vans for the Australian market – the larger Sunray and smaller Refine – in 2013.

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