This year’s CV Show at the NEC in Birmingham did not disappoint. Amongst the 460+ exhibitors, visitors saw the world premiere of DAF’s new XF and CF tractor units, plus a number of vans were seen on UK soil for the first time. We bring you some of the highlights.
The Trucks Were Back
Top billing at the show went to UK market leader DAF with the reveal of their new XF and CF tractor units. Whilst outwardly, the appearance of the new trucks are similar to the outgoing models, there have been many changes that are largely under the skin. You’ll need to check the ‘chrome’ finish around the headlights and on the sun visor to tell it apart from the current model at a distance.
According to DAF’s outgoing Managing Director, Ray Ashworth, the consistency of the external design is intentional: “If there are too many changes, we run the risk of devaluing the three year old used trucks in the market.”
Interestingly, DAF are continuing to take orders for the current model and the new version, which goes into production in June. There has been no fixed decision taken at DAF regarding the date that the current model will be
phased out. This gives dealers the option of selling the current version or offering the new model with a 5% price hike.
So, what would an operator get for their 5% extra investment?
According to DAF Trucks President, Preston Feight, the XF and CF both have a brand new Euro 6C engine, gearbox and rear axle. This, combined with other subtle software and aerodynamic changes, means that the new models can achieve fuel savings of up to 7% over the current trucks. Weight savings of over 100kg come mainly thanks to a new exhaust after treatment system that is 40% smaller and 50kg lighter than is used at present.
DAF wasn’t the only company launching a new truck at the show. The Terberg Group launched a new refrigerated Urban Safety Vehicle developed with sister company Dennis Eagle and body builder Gray and Adams.
Designed for use in congested areas, it features a cab design to comply with Transport for London’s Direct Vision Standard, all-round cameras, and a walk-through cab so that the driver needn’t exit the vehicle into traffic. The driver safety theme continues with a side-mounted tail lift, which means loading can take place safely from the pavement side rather than having the driver loading at the rear of the vehicle whilst in the road.
MAN’s prominent stand was not simply focused on the UK launch of their new TGE van, but also demonstrated the company’s new TG range – first seen at the IAA last September.
Thomas Hemmerich, MAN’s Managing Director, confirmed the importance of the UK market to MAN – it is one of just four ‘must-win’ countries alongside France, Spain and Italy.
As part of the TG range upgrade, the TGL will change from using an EGR system for Euro 6 to a lighter SCR system, saving some 45kg and reducing fuel consumption.
MAN’s TopUsed dealers will be pleased to see the launch of the TopUsed App. Matt Squires, Head of MAN Top Used, explained: “The new app is fantastically easy to use and it quickly identifies MAN TopUsed vehicles suitable for the customer’s requirements in and around their area. We have also refreshed the way we market the vehicles, offering a choice of one, two and three star vehicles under our Checked, Certified and Tested programme.”
Iveco also took part in the show but were represented by local dealer, Guest Truck and Van. The set up looked as impressive as it needed to, with the company able to showcase their trucks and vans, including one of three specially liveried Stralis units that are being used as demonstrators – each time they are used as demonstrators with operators, Iveco are donating £250 per fortnight to fundraisers Transaid.
Trailers were big news too, with good news for UK Plc. as Cheshirebased Tiger Trailers used the event to announce its plans to build a new £22m factory in Cheshire, creating 270 jobs as well as launching two new trailers.
There were also new product launches from Cartwright, Montracon and Lawrence David, along with Chereau, Don-Bur, Ekeri, and Gray and Adams.
A Variety of Vans
There was no shortage of van manufacturers displaying their wares, including the first UK sightings of the new Volkswagen Crafter and MAN TGE siblings.
The TGE will have prices starting at £23,990 for the 3-tonne variant, plus an unlimited mile three year warranty is available across the TGE range.
MAN are working hard to remind the press and operators that, whilst the TGE and Crafter are essentially the same vehicles, the dealer network is the big differentiator.
When you consider the fact that only 51% of vans pass their MOTs first time compared to 97% of trucks presented by a MAN dealer for test, and you will see that they have a point…
MAN currently have 65 service locations, all of which will be selling the TGE and are open an average of 16.5 hours a day. Sales will start after the September UK launch and drive event whilst MAN build up a network of seventeen ‘LCV Centres of Excellence’.
Volkswagen meanwhile were demonstrating their online configurator which has now been upgraded to feature the new Crafter, which made its UK debut at the show.
Sarah Cox, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “Further enhancing the customer service and experience, this class-leading fully responsive online configurator is the perfect platform for customers to build and spec their new Crafter.”
Ingimex launched their payload champion, the T6-Pick-up and T6-Tip-up bodies, enabling end users – for the first time ever – to benefit from increased payloads of 1 tonne and 1.2 tonnes respectively, which until now was restricted to larger vehicles. The new bodies have been designed exclusively for the VW T6 chassis aesthetics, with tubular bulkheads and underbody foot-steps aligning with the cab’s profile.
Citroen launched a new car transporter conversion built by conversions specialist Advanced KFS. Based on the Relay ‘Back-to-Back’ cab, the latest 1.5 tonne+ payload car transporter combines a sturdy galvanized ladderframe chassis equipped with a lightweight car transporter body and the Relay ‘Back-to-Back’ cab.
For a little fun, Citroen also chose to celebrate the birthday of the Barista’s favourite van – the ‘H-Van’ launched seventy years ago – by giving it a Coq Sportif makeover, although no one quite knows why…
Isuzu showed off their new D-Max pickup with a brand new 1.9 litre turbo diesel engine with 164PS and 360Nm of torque. The D-Max retains the 3.5 tonne towing capacity and over 1 tonne payload but gives a quieter, more refined and economical driving experience. Inside, a range of new touchscreen entertainment systems are available, equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as updated ergonomics and trim quality. No AdBlue is required for operation and it comes with a five-year/125,000-mile warranty.
Toyota too had some interesting variants as a part of their new authorised converter programme. We liked the Hilux Extra Cab tipper built by the TGS Group.
The range also includes the Proace fitted out by Bri-Stor and a refrigerated Proace prepared by CoolKit.
Gareth Matthews, Toyota’s LCV Manager, said: “These programmes have been developed in direct response to customer demand. What we are seeing today is the continuation of an exciting new LCV strategy that will see more businesses becoming Toyota Authorised Converters, and more types of vehicles being introduced.”
Mitsubishi launched its new SVP (Special Vehicle Projects) programme with the L200 Barbarian SVP. These SVP models will be produced in small volumes with significant appearance changes and specific colour options.
Inspired by the one-off Mitsubishi L200 Desert Warrior ‘Pre-Runner’ – also on the stand – the Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian SVP will be limited to a production run of 250 with half available in Electric Blue metallic and the other half in Cosmos Black.
The most noticeable additions are 17-inch bespoke black alloy wheels with BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres, new wheel arch extensions, a new grille and an exclusive black finish on the headlamp and tail lamp bezels, fog lamp surrounds, roof rails and rear bumper.
LCV market leader Ford announced their new six-speed gearbox in the Transit and Transit Custom. The new transmission can be specified in combination with the 130PS and 170PS versions of Ford’s new EcoBlue diesel engine, with Auto-Start-Stop as standard.
Also on show was the latest version of the Transit Custom Sport Van. Offered with the 170PS EcoBlue engine only, customers can choose the SelectShift automatic transmission as an option.
Launching for the first time, Ford showed their Transit Courier Sport Van. It is available with either the 100PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine or the 95PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine and is priced from £14,126.
The Dealers & Remarketers
There were plenty of dealers who called into see us on the stand we share with sister titles, Truck Paper and Truck Locator, but we could only find EM Rogers, Hopkins, Guest Trucks and ATE with stands. Perhaps the show could be used as a good opportunity for the specialist commercial vehicle dealers to reach out to their target markets?