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Vans Galore at CV Show 2016 | Full Review

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Ford Stand Very Busy at the CV Show 2016

Ford Stand Very Busy at the CV Show 2016

The 2016 CV Show may have been light on trucks, but the van makers put on a great show. Some much-trailed world premieres plus a few surprises kept the thousands of visitors entertained. We bring you some of the highlights of the 460 exhibitors.

The opening of the show coincided with new figures that show the number of vans on Britain’s roads has hit an all-time high of 4 million. According to Motorparc data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a total of 4,007,331 vans are in use on UK roads, a 4.3% increase since the previous year.


The Van Launches

In total there were some thirteen new vans and pick-ups unveiled at the event.  The wraps have literally been pulled off the new Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Toyota ProAce, which all make their world premieres.

In addition, the show sees debuts for the Toyota Hilux, Fiat Fullback, Ford Transit EcoBlue 2.0 Diesel, Iveco Daily Euro 6, Renault Master Passenger, DFSK C-Series, Volkswagen Crafter Tipper and Isuzu D-MAX Centurion, as well as a return to the UK for LDV with its new V80 and G10 model ranges.

Dispatch, Expert and Proace World Premieres

Toyota Proace Rear

Toyota Proace Rear

The Dispatch, Expert and Toyota Proace all looked fresh with their new looks.  The changes are not skip deep, however, as the French manufacturer has introduced some significant upgrades to the trio.  In addition to optional keyless entry and go, the vans use a system that opens the side loading door hands-free – a godsend when arriving at the vehicle carrying awkward loads.  Key in pocket and a simple wave of the leg at the rear sensor sees the side door opening immediately. A first for the LCV sector sees a heads up display on offer and a five start EURO NCAP rating.

Toyota Proace Van

Toyota Proace Van

All three offer up to 1,400kg of payload capacity, 6.6m3 of load volume and can tow up to 2,500kg.  A new ‘Compact’ Expert ‘Compact’ Proace are available, with Citroen opting for the ‘XS’ description of the smallest Dispatch with a 4.6 metre length.  A ‘platform’ version of the vans is available for conversions.

Also available in Combi form, with up to nine seats even in the new, smaller version and a crew van, the vehicles are available in just one height of 1.9 metres – suitable for multi-storey car park work.

Five power outputs from the 1.6 and two-litre diesel engines from 95 to an impressive 180HP are joined to a choice of 5- and 6-speed manuals and a 6-speed auto gearbox.

Both Citroen and Peugeot will be taking orders for the new Dispatch and Expert from June for deliveries in September this year.

Iveco Outside Display at the CV Show 2016Iveco’s Euro 6 Daily

Taking a huge stand at the entrance, usually belonging to Mercedes-Benz, Iveco put on a fantastic display with a wide range of vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes inside the halls and Stralis and Trakker on outside displays. In addition, Iveco had a series of ride and drive vehicles showcasing the Daily HiMatic 8-speed auto gearbox and pole position on this island outside the concourse entrance.

Iveco’s focus inside the show was on the Euro 6 Daily launch. Managing Director, Stuart Webster pointed out that the sales of the Daily have increased in the UK since the launch of the current, third generation Daily in 2014.  With sales across Europe at record levels, the factory is unable to build the vans fast enough.

Iveco claims that the new Euro 6 Daily will see a fuel consumption improvement of some 8% compared to the Euro 5 model and potential savings of 12% in repair and maintenance costs, thanks to extended service intervals.

Iveco Daily 4x4

Iveco Daily 4×4

Not content with the launch of the Euro 6 diesel Daily, Iveco showed their minibus, electric and 4×4 versions in the UK for the first time.

Taking advantage of their ‘Regeneration – no thanks’ approach, Iveco has teamed up with Surrey-based Johnston Sweepers to design and showed their new generation of road sweeper for the UK market. Previously a market leader in this niche area, the New Eurocargo sweeper chassis will be offered in 7.5, 12, 15 and 18 tonne models, and in left-hand drive, right-hand drive and dual steer variants.

Commenting on the launch, Martin Flach, Product Director at Iveco, says: “We see significant potential for New Eurocargo in this specialist market and have worked closely with the team at Johnston Sweepers to optimise the vehicle and body features.

“The low-speed environment and frequent stop/start nature of sweeper work is a perfect match for our HI-SCR technology. We’re confident that sweeper operators will recognise the clear advantages of a Euro VI solution which avoids the need for forced regeneration.”

DFSK’s New C Series

DFSK C Series Combi Van

DFSK C Series Combi Van

Five years after the DFSK Loadhopper was introduced to the UK, the Chinese manufacturer is launching a larger series of vans.  The new C Series is available as a panel van, crew van, plus a single and double cab dropside, powered by a 1.5 litre Euro 6 petrol engine.  With the van at £10,995+VAT, there may well be a demand from both customers and prospective dealers to join the existing network 43-strong.  DFSK is aiming for a network of some 75 dealers in the UK to support a targeted sales volume of 1,000 C Series in its first year of sales.

The Pickups

Truckman Stand with Hilux Navara and L200 in black

Truckman Stand with Hilux Navara and L200 in black

The show saw plenty of Pickup action with the new, eighth generation Hilux appearing in the UK for the first time.  Looking impressive on the stand, the new Hilux is some 75 mm longer, 20 mm wider and 45 mm lower than its predecessor.  Like the new Proace, the Hilux has a ‘Smart Entry’ system, plus a 7” touchscreen and shorter gearstick for cleaner changes.  Towing capacity has been increased – but only to 3.2 tonnes – just short of the leaders at 3.5 tonnes.

Fiat showed their new Fullback pick up, based on the Mitsubishi L200.  Unsurprisingly adopting a footballing theme, the display was impressive and attracted plenty of attention over the three days.

Ricky McFarland, Fiat Professional’s Country Manager said, “The new Fullback provides us with an exciting opportunity in the growing pick-up truck segment and together with the arrival of the new Talento and new Fiorino models in June, joining the rest of the FIAT Professional range, we are confident of attracting new fleets and retail customers by providing them with one of the strongest product line-ups in the market today.”

Continuing the footballing theme, Fiat launched their ‘Tradesman Trials’ campaign which is appealing for tradespeople who think they could be the next Stuart Pearce to send in a video and, if successful at this stage, could see them attending trials in front of Football League scouts – the best of the group playing on trial at a club for a month.

Isuzu Arctic Truck at CV Show 2016

Isuzu Arctic Truck at £30k+

Isuzu were keen to show off their increased focus on fleet operators with a number of innovative conversions.  Cherry pickers and fire truck conversions demonstrate how far the company has come since announcing their fleet initiative at the CV Show in 2014.  Now representing some 20% of Isuzu’s annual sales total of 6,500 companies with fleets of more than 100 pickups are being actively targeted – especially those operating Defenders in the past.

Available to order from any Isuzu dealer from this spring from a whopping £30,995, the D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 is a head turner, yet still has a payload of more than one tonne and can tow 3.5 tonnes.

Unfortunately not in time for the CV Show, Isuzu is bringing a facelifted D-Max to the UK later this year.  In an interesting move, Isuzu have departed from the usual 2.4 to 2.5 litre diesels usually seen in pick ups in the UK and opted for a 1.9 litre Euro 6, rated at 160bhp.  Despite slightly lower torque figures, the new D-Max will still manage a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes but will benefit from improved MPG and CO2 emissions.

This could be an indication of the way forward for pick ups – Isuzu know a few things about engines as the world’s largest engine manufacturer – let’s see if they have called it right.

LDV – The Boomerang is Back

LDV V80 APC fleet van

LDV V80 APC fleet van

One of the largest stands belonged to the Harris Assemblers Group demonstrating their most recent importership, bringing the LDV brand back to Birmingham.  Manufactured in China by SAIC – a Fortune 500 company that will have invested some USD 2.9 billion in the van project by 2020 –there appears to be plenty of support.

What was the LDV Maxus has become the LDV V80, albeit with a new interior.  With some 3,000 of these V80 vans in stock in Ireland, all fitted with Euro 5 VM engines and Hyundai gearboxes, sales via the 11 or so dealers in the UK (29 more in Ireland) can take place from today. The target market for the V80 has to be local tradespeople, as there is insufficient dealer coverage to appeal to regional and national operators.  With a 125,000 mile, 5 year warranty and 5 year roadside assistance on a LWB medium roof van that can be bought for £14,527 we may see some takers.

Harris claims sales of some 700 units of the V80 in Ireland last year, with a significant deal with the Irish postal service of some 250 vans helping with the numbers.  The vans are currently imported under small series type approval which limits sales to a few thousand a year.  European approval would be needed to move the vans in any great numbers.

LDV G10 White Van

LDV G10 White Van

With the Chinese involvement, there may well be some new LDV vans hitting these shores soon.  On display was the company’s G10 van and MPV.  Similar to the Ford Custom in size, (and many other ways), the G10 is good looking and appears well made.  At present there is just a petrol engine, but a diesel engine is on the horizon – Liam O’Neill, Harris Group V.P. tells us that the first quarter of 2017 is a possibility for the diesel version.

Also launched amidst much fanfare was the EV80, LDV’s all-electric van with a 350km range from the lithium ion batteries.  Looking a lot like a normal V80, the all-electric vehicle should be available at the end of this year.

Ford’s New Engine

Ford Name Everywhere

Ford’s Name Everywhere

With so much of the Ford range so recently renewed, there was little in the way of new vehicles on the Ford stand, but it was the first time we had seen the all-new 2.0-litre Ford EcoBlue diesel engine arriving from mid-2016.

New from the ground up, the Ford EcoBlue engine improves fuel consumption by up to 13% compared with the outgoing 2.2-litre TDCi engine, with CO2 emissions from 157 g/km.

“The challenge was to take our best-selling Transit and make it cheaper to operate, improve performance, cleaner in terms of emissions, quieter in the cabin, safer and even more durable,” said Pete Reyes, Ford of Europe’s head of commercial vehicles. “That’s exactly what we did with the new Transit and Transit Custom with the all-new Ford EcoBlue engine.”

For the Transit and Transit Custom models, the 2.0-litre Ford EcoBlue engine is offered in 105PS, 130PS and 170PS power ratings and Transit Custom vehicles fitted with optional Auto-Start-Stop deliver average fuel consumption from 46.3mpg – 13 per cent down from the equivalent outgoing model.

Ford were also offering free business presentations in the form of their ‘digital download sessions’ which ran hourly and aimed to help small businesses unravel the Internet, including search marketing and how to use social media platforms for business.

Volkswagen’s Focus on Conversions

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles designed their stand to resemble the insides of a typical house.  Relaxing sofas, framed photos and bookshelves all gave the stand a laid-back feel.

VW House Stand

VW ‘House’ Stand

The company used the show as a platform to announce a new Converter Recognition Programme. Designed to build upon the brand’s existing and successful ‘Engineered to Go’ and ‘Engineered for You’ programmes, the new scheme extends the range of off-the-shelf and bespoke conversions on offer.

VW Crafter Dropside Crew Cab

VW Crafter Dropside Crew Cab with VFS Body

The changes to the programmes see Volkswagen introduce a number of new quality and technical criteria to which converter partners must adhere in order to be part of the conversion offering. A new, three-tiered approach has been developed to suit the differing converter agreements that Volkswagen operates (Registered Bodybuilder, Integrated Partner and Premium Partner). At each level, converter partners will be required to undergo regular converter audits as well as deliver minimum type approval certification for each conversion.

First time on show was the new VFS tipper conversion on the Crafter which can come with or without the caged sides. Nick Axtell, Specialist Sales Manager at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, commented: “The new conversion meets all of the same high build quality standards of a factory built vehicle, giving customers the peace of mind that it will get the job done without letting them down.”

SDC Trailers KERS Hybrid

SDC Trailers KERS Hybrid

Electric Trailers?

There were very few trucks, but plenty of trailers on show.  For us, the star was SDC who launched their new KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) curtainsider.

So obvious, we had assumed it had been done before, but SDC claim to be the first to build a trailer which stares the power of regenerative braking and releases it when needed upon acceleration, for example.

Weighing in at 650kg, the system has the potential to save as much as 25% fuel consumption on a stop/start operation.  Not yet in production, the trailer on display is due to go into customer trials in the next three weeks to determine real-world savings.

No prices have been released for the system as yet, but SDC sales manager, Robert Stanley is hoping that to sell some 25 – 50 of the KERS trailers in the first year of sales.

Were the trucks missed?

The message from interviewing exhibitors at the close of the last day of the show was unanimous – the show was a success.

Nick Turner of electronics company, C-KO said, “We took a more focused approach and separated our product offerings into heavy and light commercial groupings and this seem to have paid off.  We have seen impressive levels of interest, especially on the second day in our van camera systems.

Eclipse Automotive’s Sales Director, Richard Parkin, said “We have had a very busy show, much busier than last year. It has been a great opportunity to meet many of our existing users as well as a large number of potential new clients who have heard about our company and wanted to know more”.

Eclipe’s ‘Living Butler’ entertaining the crowds

Eclipe’s ‘Living Butler’ entertaining the crowds

As the largest supplier of multi-brand diagnostic products in the Aftermarket, Eclipse are well known for their Testpad Extreme PC and Jaltest software. The Eclipse stand displayed the full range of equipment and of course there were regular demonstrations of the powerful Jaltest software.

Eclipse Automotive had a ‘living statue butler’ to demonstrate the company’s ‘first class support’ which sees dedicated Eclipse technicians supporting customers needing advise on diagnosis and repairs.

The Workshop area was busy too with tool supplier, Sealey’s Area Sales Manager, Mark Ryan impressed with the response at the show, “We sell through thousands of distributors in the UK, so the show is an excellent medium to showcase our brand.


CV Show 2016 Photo Gallery

Take the opportunity to browse our photo gallery from across the show.  Feel free to reuse the images, but we would be grateful for a credit and a link back to this gallery.

About Jason Hodge (1361 Articles)
Editor of Commercial Vehicle Dealer Magazine, Jason has worked in the commercial vehicle industry since leaving university over 20 years ago.