WMC axes plan for JAC ute and vans

8 February 2013
, Herald Sun
WMC axes plan for JAC ute and vans
WMC will now concentrate on the LDV van that it launched in Australia last month

The Chinese vehicle importer, which brings in JAC trucks, SAIC built LDV vans and Higer buses, said it had planned to introduce a ute and two vans produced by JAC to Australia by the start of this year, but the plan is now on the backburner.

The news comes one year after WMC cancelled a plan to bring Higer-sourced Joylong vans to Australia, before the company decided to switch to JAC product early last year. WMC will instead concentrate on pushing the LDV van that it launched in Australia last month and trying to get sales of its JAC truck moving.

The JAC light duty trucks, which were introduced last year, have struggled to gain traction and poor media reviews of the vehicles stemming from the launch have not helped. WMC, which has sold just 20 of the first shipment of the first batch of 70 vehicles, has since cut prices of the trucks by around $5000 to try and trigger some interest.

The JAC ute was scheduled to arrive in late 2012 after JAC executives visiting Australia promised it would fast-track its development as a right-hand drive. Work on bringing the budget workhorse ute and vans has stopped and it is unclear when, and even if, they will come to Australia.

Instead, WMC will concentrate on expanding the line-up of its LDV vans and also developing a custom Higer city transit bus. "We're not looking at new products," says new WMC chief Neil Bamford. "We've got a full plate for the next 12 months, I don't want to run thin."