Archive for April, 2009


Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

The Ford Transit now gets the company’s ECOnetic treatment – their low CO2 technology. On sale this year, the Transit ECOnetic uses the front wheel drive T280 as a base vehicle and is powered by the 2200cc 115PS. Target fuel economy is 39.2mpg*, while average CO2 emissions are a best in class 189 g/km.
Ford's new Transit Econetic
Following the launch of ECOnetic models in Ford’s Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo passenger car ranges, the company is now committed to continuing this affordable low CO2 approach in the commercial vehicle market. In addition to the new Transit ECOnetic, an ECOnetic version of its compact workmate, the Fiesta Van, will also go on sale later this year.
Econetic in the Transit
Steve Kimber, commercial vehicles director, Ford of Britain, said: “We appreciate that our commercial vehicle customers have a clear interest in saving fuel and lowering their cost of ownership. At the same time, environmental friendliness is also growing in importance for them, and with the new Transit ECOnetic they can achieve both.”

Transit ECOnetic – what’s different?
* Optimised rolling resistance tyres (215/75R16) and low friction oil * Green shift indicator light * Modified engine calibration * Standard 70mph speed limiter * Improvements over the standard 115PS 280S of 24 g/km CO2 * New low-drag wheel covers

Available as an option, a closed-loop, coated Diesel Particulate Filter (cDPF) enables Transit ECOnetic to satisfy the Euro Stage V emissions standards. The 115PS engine reaches its peak power at 3,500rpm, and delivers a maximum torque figure of 300Nm at 1,800 to 2,000rpm.

The Transit ECOnetic features the Durashift six-speed manual transmission (VMT-6). This offers a wider range of available gear ratios over the prior Durashift five-speed transmission, allowing better fuel economy at all speeds, while the power and torque upgrade offers rewarding performance on demand. The ‘shorter’ gearing in first gear allows for improved pull-away performance, while the ‘longer’ gearing in top provides improved highway fuel economy (around 10 per cent better compared with the combined NEDC figures), with reduced engine revs for a range of speeds and loads for the standard Transit configuration. For the ECOnetic version, longer gearing has been achieved through the fitment of a 4.36 final drive ratio.
Standard on Transit ECOnetic is Ford’s Electronic Stability Program (ESP) system, including Hill Launch Assist (HLA). It also has a generous array of standard equipment, including the Ford Audio 6000 unit as well as load box safety equipment, including a full steel bulkhead and solid tie down hooks. Additional features, such as a trip computer (to monitor fuel performance), rear parking sensors and a new rear view camera with overhead seven-inch colour display, can also be ordered.

The Transit ECOnetic is as practical as any Transit. It offers 1,097kg gross payload (the standard Transit 280S van is 1,092kg), and the same load box volume of 6.5 cubic metres – using the SAE method of volume calculations.

Detail engineering for the Transit ECOnetic included reducing the availability of the heaviest options such as a second sliding door. However, all standard and optional safety and comfort features are available.

New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Curtainsider Sold by Gerard Mann

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

A Midlands company that makes the chassis for the Morgan Aero 8 has turned to Mercedes-Benz to drive its own business forward.

mercedes-benz-sprinter-curtain-sideRadshape Sheet Metal chose a new Mercedes Sprinter to deliver the chassis to the manufacturer of the British sports car.

Supplied by Birmingham dealer Gerard Mann Commercials, Radshape’s new Sprinter 311CDI chassis cab has a curtainside body by Summedale Truck Bodies, also of Birmingham. It has replaced a vehicle by another manufacturer and is the first Mercedes to wear Radshape’s colours.

“There’s a lot of prestige associated with the Mercedes-Benz brand and we decided that it was time to for us to take that step up,” declares Sales Director Ken Brown. “The Sprinter may cost a little more than some rivals but its predicted ‘whole life’ running costs are a lot lower, thanks to its reliability, long service intervals and high residual values.”

The Sprinter is powered by a smooth and clean common-rail diesel engine, and bristles with safety features, including the latest Adaptive version of the ESP® anti-skid system, which dynamically monitors the vehicle’s load status while it is on the move. A class-leading three-year, unlimited mileage warranty also comes as standard, as does a free, Service Package that covers the first five years or 60,000 miles of operation, whichever is reached sooner.

“Our drivers love the Sprinter,” explains Mr Brown. “It’s very comfortable and easy to drive, and is proving to be economical to operate.”

Radshape is also delighted with the service it has received from Gerard Mann van sales executive Rob Lynock. “He responded quickly and efficiently to our initial inquiry and was very helpful in explaining our options and in keeping us informed every step of the way,” adds Mr Brown.


Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Five years’ free servicing until end of June
How many miles do you drive in five years? Fifty thousand? One hundred thousand?

In a new SsangYong you can drive for a quarter of a million miles and not have to worry about a warranty claim. Now even better value for money, SsangYong Kyron, Rexton and Rodius models from South Korea now come with a five year or 250,000 mile warranty (whichever comes first).

The five year or quarter of a million mile warranty is not simply a marketing initiative, but a permanent enhancement to SsangYong ownership. Having tested public opinion in Northern Ireland with a similar warranty provided by Northern Irish dealers over the past year, the move clearly demonstrates confidence in SsangYong’s build quality and reliability and will appeal to pragmatic buyers looking for rugged ability coupled with value for money.

“The move has the full support of the SsangYong factory,” says Koelliker UK managing director Paul Williams. “We were pleased with the reaction of customers in Northern Ireland and with over 50 years’ experience of making tough, practical vehicles, we know that SsangYongs are well made and solidly reliable and this will reinforce that message and give buyers great confidence.”

Five years’ free servicing
Right now, a five year warranty isn’t the only reason to consider a SsangYong. Until the end of June, retail customers can also enjoy five years/50,000 miles of free servicing, focusing still further on SsangYong’s reliability and low costs of ownership.

Customers can easily plan their motoring budgets with SsangYong, confident that there will be no nasty surprises. All SsangYong models also come with three years’ European AA cover.

The SsangYong range appeals to those looking for a well equipped, immensely practical vehicle who want value for money rather than paying the premium prices demanded by other brands. They are especially suitable for anyone with a regular or occasional need to tow a caravan, boat, horsebox or trailer of any kind, and if you need to venture off the tarmac, SsangYong’s four wheel drive systems will let you do it with ease.

There are six SsangYong Kyron models with a choice of the latest clean and economical 2.0 and 2.7 litre, turbocharged common rail diesel engines, with two or four wheel drive and manual or automatic transmissions. The Kyron represents a considerable saving over its competitors such as the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Chevrolet Captiva.

The Kyron starts at on £14,995 and even at this price, gets air conditioning, electronic stability programme (ESP), hill descent control (HDC), ABS brakes, a Kenwood radio and CD player and steering wheel audio controls. All Kyrons are versatile and practical five-seaters that will tow up to 2.3 metric tons. The extra urban fuel consumption of the 2.0 diesel is up to a pleasing 45.6mpg. CO2 emissions are the lowest in the class at only 191 g/km.

For the ultimate in comfort, equipment and go-anywhere four wheel drive ability, the Kyron 2.7 SPR wants for nothing. Its huge towing capability comes from permanent four wheel drive and the SsangYong 2.7 litre, turbocharged diesel engine. This gives 165 PS and a thumping 340 Nm of torque at 2,525rpm. With Mercedes T-Tronic auto transmission, it still returns an extra urban consumption of 34mpg.

All three SsangYong Rexton models (from £19,995) have all wheel drive and the 2.7 litre common rail turbo diesel engine for big towing capacity and off-road capability. The Rexton squares up against the Mitsubishi Shogun, Landrover Discovery and Jeep Cherokee and whichever way you look at it, offers great value and performance with huge advantages over the competition.

For serious people carrying capacity, SsangYong’s Rodius models come in 2wd and 4wd – all with the 2.7 litre turbo diesel – and with automatic transmission as an option.

A full seven-seater with ample luggage space, the Rodius 270 S easily undercuts the Kia Sedona and starts at only £14,995. All Rodius models use the 2.7 litre with 165PS and massive torque. Even a vehicle this big can achieve up to 35.8mpg.

SsangYong light commercial versions of the Kyron and Rexton – the C-S models – have the rear seats removed, blacked-out windows and a flat load floor installed. They offer massive load space and towing capacity with all the equipment and driving refinement of a passenger car. Starting at only £11,995 (excluding delivery and first registration charges, and VAT) the S-C models can also be fitted with a tachograph.


Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Lots of benefits have been gained from acquiring a new fleet of Citroën Berlingo vans by Hewer Facilities Management Ltd (Hewer FM). The 35 Berlingo LX 1.6HDi 90hp L1 850 vans just are painted in blackwith bold graphics.
New Citroen Berlingos at

In operation, the Berlingos are getting as much as 25%improved consumption. And, the company is achieving further environmental and cost saving benefits as the Berlingos are using 30 per cent bio diesel fuel.

“We have also achieved further cost savings with these vans as we are now paying lower insurance premiums. In addition, we are achieving productivity advantages, thanks to the Berlingo’s standard Trafficmaster Smartnav satellite navigation system – and the Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking system is a major peace-of-mind feature,” Mr Willmott adds.

Hewer FM’s new Berlingos have been supplied by Citroën dealer Warners of Cheltenham on three-year, 60,000 mile Lex Vehicle Leasing with-maintenance contract hire agreements. The Berlingos have been fitted with a full steel bulkhead, polypropylene load compartment lining, non-slip composite flooring, roof bars and Citroën’s optional Bluetooth mobile phone connection equipment.

Wurth Bodyline racking, specifically designed to meet the requirements of Hewer FM’s engineers, is also fitted. As such, the new Berlingos can carry the same amount of tools and parts as the larger Dispatch vans they replace – and with their dual passenger seat can also carry up to three people as required.

Hewer FM is involved in heating and electrical projects for businesses, local authority and health services, as well as domestic customers within a 50 mile radius of the company’s headquarters. The company is also growing its business, with the launch of its Failsafe domestic heating care plan. This new service, which is priced from just £10.50 per month, is proving very popular, with over 600 new customers gained since its launch. The company’s new Berlingos are being used by its skilled heating and electrical engineers to carry out its wide ranging facilities management activities.

“We specified Citroën Berlingos as part of a total company commitment to greener and more efficient business practice. As such, the Berlingo delivers on our key environmental, economical and operational requirements and will provide fuel cost savings of many thousands of pounds, reduce our CO2 emissions by several tonnes a year and further improve the productivity of our skilled engineers,” concludes Robert Willmott.

LCV values rise for third month running

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Data from BCA’s monthly Pulse report shows that average values for light commercials have continued to climb in 2009. Over £400 was added to the average value in March as buyers continued to compete strongly for stock.
LCV Sales
However, values still have yet to recover all the ground lost last year when the market peaked of £3,868 in January 2008.

Average values across all LCVs climbed in March by 13.6% to £3,544, a rise of £427 against February. Values are now £772 ahead of December’s low point, but remain £177 behind year-on-year. Average guide values improved by 3.3 points over the month to break the 100% barrier for the first time since 2007.

Much of the recovery continues to be driven by the fleet & lease sector, where average values have improved from £3,359 (97% CAP) in February, to £3,869 (100% CAP) in March. Dealers say sourcing stock is currently their biggest issue to meet the improved retail demand and increased competition is keeping values keen.

Duncan Ward BCA’s UK Business Development Manager – Commercial Vehicles commented “Following a long period in the doldrums, there is a lot more confidence in the used LCV market in 2009 and that is reflected in stronger bidding, higher conversions and improving prices. The recovery in the fleet & lease sector is significant as it is by far the biggest volume provider into the used market. CAP performance on fleet and lease stock has improved rapidly, recovering six points in January, seven points in February and three points in March.”

Steady price recovery also continued in the part-exchange sector in March, with average values rising by £50 to £1,935 – a similar increase to that experienced the previous month. CAP performance improved by over 3-points, following an 8-point increase last month and a 10-point rise in January. P/X volumes remain subdued as dealers are retailing a greater number of these vehicles, rather than trading them.

Values for nearly-new vans at auction continued to improve in March, rising by £552 to £8,991 and a new high CAP performance of 107.71%. Year-on-year, however, values are down by nearly £2,000.

Ward added “Quarter 1 demand for light vans has been exceptional and we are hopeful that this interest will be maintained well into the second quarter. This mini-boom in LCV sales is likely to be a side–effect of the tough economic climate. With increasing numbers of redundancies in manufacturing and engineering, many of these skilled trades people will strike out on their own and the first thing they will buy with their redundancy money is a van.”

In addition, Ward suggests many small businesses will have ring-fenced the troubles of 2008 and are now moving on and looking to the future. He said “With the start of the new financial year, new budgets will be in place, and many businesses will look to replace any long-in-the-tooth vehicles with newer, more efficient models. Despite the recent rises, the used market still represents excellent value for money.”

Van Styling Experts Bucking The Falling Sales Trend

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Many businesses are struggling this year, and the majority have experienced falling sales. That is not the case however for van styling experts Vanstyle, who have seen their company grow and grow over the last 12 months.

Vanstyle, who specialise in van accessories and modifications, are bucking the current economic trend by reporting growing sales. Further to this the company are pleased to announce the extension of various ranges of van accessories available from their website,

Having supplied to the automotive industry for over 25 years, Vanstyle have cultivated a wide customer base by bringing van accessories to the masses. Developed from the viewpoint that van styling was missing from the transport accessory industry, the company found a niche in the market as a specialist van accessories supplier.

Vanstyle stock a wide range of van accessories, including van wheels, front styling, side styling and interior styling products, as well as dash kits and door entry guard sets. They also supply accessories and storage options for many makes and models of truck, 4×4 and SUV, including hardtops, roof racks and bedliners.
Vanstyle stock van accessories and styling products for over 35 makes of van and 4×4, including BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Landrover, Mitsubishi and the Hummer series. They also supplies wind deflectors and car shades to fit over 40 makes of vehicle. David Taqvi, Managing Director of Vanstyle, said, “Our continued success as a company probably comes down to our vast range of products.
“Staying competitive in terms of pricing is part of our ethos here at Vanstyle and we actively work towards offering our customers not only a top of the range products but cost effective solutions to transforming either personal or commercial vehicles.”

To ensure that their service is second-to-none, the Vanstyle team is made up of highly experienced professionals who have the technical know-how to aid self-installation and the ability to make sure that your individual needs are met. As the market leader in the supply of van accessories and van styling products, Vanstyle hope to continue their success into 2009 and carry on providing for all your van styling needs.


Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

With the special offers from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles this Spring, including fixed price service plans and some of the best, flexible finance options around, there has never been an easier or more affordable time to buy a Volkswagen Caddy, Caddy Maxi, Transporter or Crafter van.
VW Vans for sale at
The durability, stronger residual values and lower whole life costs for Volkswagen vans mean Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Finance can offer highly competitive rates. The result is a 300 per cent increase in business customers buying vans with Volkswagen’s latest contract hire and finance lease offers in the first two months of 2009 compared to the same period last year.

As a result, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Finance has extended its contract hire and finance lease offers until June 30, and introduced them for the Crafter van range. Prices start from £189 a month for a new Caddy with a 3.2m³ loadspace, £209 a month for the Caddy Maxi with 4.2m³ loadspace, or £229 a month for the Transporter T26 with 5.8m³ loadspace. The new rates for the Crafter with at least 7.5 m³ of loadspace start from £299 a month.

Volkswagen’s fixed-price service plan offers have also been extended to June 30. There are four service plans available covering a period of 36 months and a choice of mileage bands – 45, 60, 75 and 90,000 miles (whichever comes first), costing from £295 to £695. The plans are available on any new van for retail customers or business users with fleets of up to 25 vehicles. For all other customers, fixed-price standard service plans are available with the same time and mileage limits from £489 to £1,028. Apart from being an obvious aid to a customer’s financial budgeting, service plans are transferable to subsequent owners and offer the peace of mind and superior residual values of a full service history by trained Volkswagen technicians.

Finally, for used van buyers, Volkswagen has also extended its lease purchase offers, with Caddy vans from only £99 a month, or Transporter vans for £129 a month. The quality and durability of Volkswagen vans makes them just as desirable to subsequent owners, especially with the added peace of mind that the Assured Used programme puts every van through a multi-check process to make it look, feel and perform like new.


Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

A strong first quarter performance has seen Citroën take an 8.05 per cent share of the up to 3.5 tonne GVW LCV market. During the first quarter of 2009, Citroën’s LCV sales of 4,008 units also enabled the company to regain third place in the up to 3.5 tonne GVW sector.
Citroen Commercial Vehicle Offers
Now, to maintain this strong start to the year, Citroën is opening the second quarter of 2009 with a range of outstanding customer offers. Participating Citroën dealers can offer the following prices on Citroën’s Award Winning LCV range when ordered by 14th April and registered by 30th June 2009:

C2 Enterprise £7,245* with an amazing Citroën offer of up to £1,300
Nemo range from £5,945* with a Citroën offer of up to £2,800
Berlingo First range from £6,145* with an amazing Citroën offer of up to £3,620
New Berlingo range from £7,645* with a Citroën offer of up to £3,350
Dispatch range from £9,195* with a Citroën offer of up to £5,625
Relay 30 L1H1 100hp at £10,495* with a Citroën offer of up to £6,005
Relay 35 L3H2 120hp at £15,195* with a Citroën offer of up to £7,105

*Prices exclude VAT, delivery, number plates, Government First Registration Fee and Road Fund Licence. Terms & conditions apply. Available at participating dealers only.

Charles Peugeot, Head of Commercial Vehicles, comments, “We are delighted to have performed strongly in the first quarter of 2009. We are confident that we can maintain this solid LCV sales performance through the second quarter with this range of attractive customer offers.”


Friday, April 3rd, 2009

From yesterday, all Defender 110 Station Wagons featuring the Utility Pack will gain a classification change from M1 passenger carrying to N1 Light Commercial Vehicle. With a payload capability in excess of 1,000kg, the Defender 110 Utility Wagon also meets requirements to be classified as a light goods vehicle for VAT purposes should the usage be commercial.
Land Rover 110 Defender Commercial
The Utility Pack, which is a no cost option available on all three trim levels – base, County and XS – replaces the rear side windows of the standard station wagon with panelled sides, providing a secure load space area whilst still maintaining seating for five people.

Customers purchasing a Defender 110 Utility Wagon for commercial requirements can benefit from VAT reclaim, Benefit in Kind tax capped at £3000 for light commercial vehicles and an LCV rate of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) – £185 from May 1, 2009.

John Edwards, UK managing director, Land Rover said: “The change in classification for the Defender 110 Utility wagon provides our business customers with a more flexible and cost-effective alternative to other double cabs. The Utility pack ensures a more secure load space whilst not affecting the vehicle’s ability to transport five people comfortably – making it an ideal workhorse.”

Prices for the Utility Wagon will start from £23,970.00 OTR (£20,874.78 exc. 15% VAT but including VED and £55 registration fee).


Friday, April 3rd, 2009

In these uncertain economic times, every penny of business investment has to count, particularly when buying a new vehicle. That was certainly Adrian Patrick’s objectives, when he asked Sherwood Truck & Van to help him improve the productivity of his company, Adey Freight Ltd, by supplying a vehicle with a high payload (the total available weight a vehicle can carry).
Fiat Ducato
Adrian specialises in delivering furniture and wanted a van with a gross weight under three and a half tonnes. Anything above this requires extra expense in the form of a tachograph and an operator’s licence. The Fiat Ducato proved to be the perfect choice as it has a light chassis. But going the extra mile, Sherwood then joined forces with Mark Collishaw of NBC Vehicle Solutions Ltd (Nottingham Bodycraft) who promptly modified the box body using a revolutionary honeycomb plastic. As well as being light, the innovative new material has many other advantages over the usual aluminium, steel or GRP, which is far heavier, as Mark explains

“The plastic panel is approximately 40 percent of the weight of conventional constructions and is fully recyclable and repairable,” he reveals. “It’s very strong and the box itself is made from one panel, so security is better than a curtain-sider. Plus it has good crash resistance. I’ve heard of one rolling onto its roof and staying in its original shape, whereas a conventional body would’ve collapsed. As it’s light-weight, it’s also far more economical to run.”

Since the Ducato was delivered last November, Adrian has enjoyed all of these benefits, but it’s the increased payload which has made the most dramatic difference to his business. On a vehicle with a conventionally built body, Adrian used to be able to carry 600kg, but now this has increased to 1020kg.

“I deliver a lot of flat-packed furniture which can be very heavy, and you can easily fill up a vehicle and be overweight,” he explains. “With a heavier van I’d only be able to half fill it, which would prove costly, but this is perfect and has saved me money already. Also, because it’s lighter, the fuel efficiency is excellent and it’s got better acceleration.

“The Ducato is also a nice, easy vehicle to drive and the service has been very good at Sherwood. Any problems have been dealt with in a fantastic and professional way. I’d certainly go back to them if I ever bought a second vehicle.”

According to Sherwood Sales Director, Mike Lancaster, the lightweight Ducato fulfils the needs of an emerging market.

“There’s more and more demand for three-and-a-half tonne commercial vehicles due to the current legislative requirements,” says Mike. “Adrian’s Ducato is a great example of how important it is to provide the right payload, so customers get the maximum productivity from their vehicles.

“As well as working hard to provide the perfect vehicle, we also take great pride in our after-care service and always do our utmost to help the customer, whatever their problem, 24 hours a day.”