Company Van Today - Issue 8 - Winter 2018

Mitsubishi L200 revamped for 2019 The Mitsubishi L200 has had a thorough revamp for 2019, with the facelifted version getting a hefty update to its looks inside and out. The biggest change is at the front, where the L200 gets a revised and more aggressive look with higher- set headlights, a grille that is designed to echo that of the Shogun Sport SUV, and heavily redesigned bumpers. The wheelarches have also been extended, while there are changes to the tailgate and rear bumpers. Overall, every exterior panel is new. There are very few changes to the interior, though, with a few updated materials and the addition of a couple of USB ports, a new phone storage area and new grab handles on the B-pillars to help rear passengers get into and out of the L200. Underneath the revised skin, changes include bigger brakes, upgraded suspension dampers and a new six-speed automatic gearbox. Extra safety kit has been added, too, with an autonomous braking system, blindspot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system all added. Although the revised L200 has gone on sale in other markets, it is not due to come to the UK until July or August. The engine line up will be confirmed closer to that time. In the meantime, UK customers will be able to buy a run-out Barbarian Black Edition version of the outgoing L200, which comes with black-coloured alloy wheels, front grille, front and rear bumper, mirrors and door handles and other details. It also gets bespoke seating and a choice of a load area cover. It is limited to 500 units and costs from £30,195 (excluding VAT). Renault is seeking to put its conversion products back on fleets’ radar in 2019 as supply constraints on its platform cab chassis ease. Speaking just before Christmas, Renault fleet boss Mark Dickens described the issue as Renault’s “Achilles Heel” during 2018. He told Company Van Today : “The big issue has been our availability of the platform cab, to allow us to build those conversions. We’ve been fighting for more and more production from Europe, because the converted product throughout Europe has been in huge demand. “We’ve lost orders this year, some of my colleagues have picked up some of our orders where we’ve just not been able to build, and that hurts. Next year we’ll be back on full stream so we’re really confident about next year on converted products. There’s a bit of a theme running; if they could build it, we would sell it. “Renault vans have great heritage, great brand value and our conversions – tailor- made offerings for conversions – is one of our USPs,” he continued. “If you want it we TOYOTA PLANS SMALL VAN Toyota has confirmed plans to release a small van, with the newmodel to be a rebranded version of the Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner. It is set to be released at the end of 2019, and will be the second commercial vehicle that Toyota has released as a result of it partnership with the PSA Group. VAN SALES STRONG IN 2018 e UK van market held strong in 2018, with sales dipping by just 1.8%. e year’s 357,325 registrations represented the fourth-best year on record. The 4x4 and pick-up segments saw the most growth, with rises of 303.4% and 4.3% respectively. The sub- 2.0-tonne van market was hit the most, with sales falling by 14.7% to 25,070 in the year. VWS ENGINEERED TO GO Volkswagen has launched a range of in-house conversions based on the Crafter large van. e range includes tippers, dropsides and Lutons and will be created by Ingimex. Pricing starts at £31,470 for the dropside, £33,310 for the tipper and £36,220 for the Luton (all ex VAT.) e tipper and the dropside are available in double and single cab form, while the Luton is single cab only. VW has also confirmed that it will expand its conversion range to the Transporter and Caddy with more versions to come. VW/FORDTIE UPCONFIRMED Ford and Volkswagen have confirmed that they will jointly develop a new range of light commercial vehicles, with Ford engineering larger vans and medium-sized pick-ups for both brands, with the latter coming in 2022, while Volkswagen will be in charge of a new city van. CONVERSION TARGET FOR RENAULT IN 2019 build it, we’re not confined to low-loaders and tippers; basically, you name it, we build it and we have an accredited network, that will build anything.” Renault is also focused on supply of its new electric Master large van for 2019. “We have got a lot of work to do to satisfy demand on that,” said Dickens. “I can see this being another demand outstrips supply point, based on signed letters of intent to order we’ve already got.” Despite the Master ZE joining the Kangoo ZE model that has been offered for a number of years, Dickens said there is still a future for diesel. “It’s an interesting dynamic in the market at the moment with electric, hybrid, diesel – diesel I find infuriating from a message perspective because it still has a place in fleet but it seems to get a bashing all the time,” he said. “If you’re a long-distance driver then diesel is definitely the solution, yet people believe what they hear and see. It’s just wrong, it’s the wrong choice for them to be forced into petrol or something else.” Paul Barker NEWS COMPANY VAN TODAY.CO.UK 5 BITES