Company Van Today - Issue 7 - Autumn 2018

12 04 14 16 21 Every time I look at the sales charts for the commercial vehicle sector I am struck by the results in two sectors. Although the market as a whole has seen a dip year on year in recent months, the pick-up truck and 4x4 markets continue to rise. The beneficial loophole in the Benefit- in-Kind tax system that allows business owners to treat a pick-up truck as a commercial vehicle and therefore only be charged on the flat rate of £3350 for 2018/19 equates to a monthly charge of just £56 or £112 a month depending on the owner’s tax bracket. When you can pay that to get a highly specified V6 Mercedes-Benz X-Class, while a similarly priced GLC SUV would cost around five times as much, you can see the appeal for the business owner. The problem comes when the loophole closes, which it may well do. With the Chancellor never known for allowing such things to remain unchecked, there is a chance he will draw a line between trucks and vans in the BIK system. There really shouldn’t be a distinction, though. Small business needs all the help it can get from the Treasury, and trucks bring many tangible and unseen benefits. Turning up for a job in a truck suggests a level of professionalism that arriving in a generic van, or a car, does not. It’s also worth noting that, great though trucks are these days, they haven’t reached the level of comfort of your average SUV. When I’ve spoken to manufacturers about this, there has been a general reluctance to talk about what they would do if the Chancellor did close the benefit loophole. Some have admitted that sales would be seriously affected, while others have simply said that their product is good enough to speak for itself and they would carry on as normal, pointing out that no change is imminent. One other thing could contribute to a dip in truck sales – the return of the 4x4 van. The sector practically died with the demise of the Land Rover Defender, but has enjoyed a return with the relaunch of the Discovery van. Sales to the end of August were up 247.3% over 2017, with almost all of that down to the posh van. With the van versions of the Toyota Land Cruiser and Mitsubishi Shogun Sport due to arrive in the coming months, there could be another challenge to the truck’s recent untouched glory days. TomWebster Editor FOREWORD COMPANY VAN TODAY.CO.UK 3 04 NEWS New Ford Transit and PHEV Custom; new electric VW vans 09 ANALYSIS The difficulties of platform sharing 12 INTERVIEW Ford CV boss Nathan Saunders 14 THE FUTURE ON SHOW The IAA show in Hanover gave us a glimpse of the CVs of the future 16 TEST DRIVE REVIEWS Volkswagen e-Crafter; Renault Trafic Formula Edition; SsangYong Musso pick-up 21 LONG-TERMTEST Farewell to our roomy, and good- to-drive, if thirsty, VW Transporter 22 KNOWLEDGE Why preparation to defleet is key 23 KNOWLEDGE All the figures you need CONTENTS WELCOME EDITORIAL: EDITOR: TomWebster E: NEWS: CHIEF SUB-EDITOR: Euan Doig ART DIRECTOR: Caroline Creighton-Metcalf CONTRIBUTOR: Paul Barker PRODUCTION: T: 01206 638037 E: EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Paul Barker PUBLISHING: PUBLISHER: Dave Wallace T: 07739 554329 E: ADVERTISING: T: 01206 638036 CIRCULATION MANAGER: Andy Kirk E: SUBSCRIPTIONS: Subscribe to Company Van Today: UK £19.50 . Europe & Eire £26.80 CompanyVan Today @companyvantoday DISCLAIMER: Company Van Today is published four times per year by AutomotiveMedia & Events Limited, registered address 1 Second Avenue, Halstead, Essex, CO9 2SU. Registered number 10034249. All rights reserved. No part of themagazinemay be reproduced in any form in whole or in part without prior written permission of the publisher. All material published remains the copyright of AutomotiveMedia & Events Limited. Whilst every reasonable care is taken to ensure accuracy, information is obtained froma variety of sources and the publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions, nor dowe accept liability for any loss or damage, howsoever caused, resulting from the use of the magazine. We reserve the right to edit letters, copy or images submitted to themagazine without further consent. The submission of material to AutomotiveMedia & Events Limited unsolicited or requested, is taken as permission to publish in themagazine. ISSN 2514-1929 (online) Printing: Micropress Printers Ltd, Suffolk.