Van round-up: October

Time 13 years ago

Sporting new Volkswagens
VOLKSWAGEN Commercial Vehicles has just launched the latest additions to its Sportline range of vans.

The Caddy and Caddy Maxi Sportline extend the stylish range to five models.

In now-established Sportline fashion, they’re effectively the GTIs of the van line-up, with aggressive looks and good performance.

The Caddys are distinguished by chrome side rails and front grilles, lower front spoiler (with built in fog lamps), rear roof spoiler, body colour bumpers, mirrors and doorhandles – oh, and 17-inch, six-spoke alloys.

Inside, things are no less appealing. There’s black Italian leather with red stitching, red centre panels and an embroidered Sportline logo (in case you’d missed it…). Also standard are air con, electric windows, CD stereo and electric door mirrors.

And under the bonnet? A 140PS 2.0-litre TDI, that hits 116mph, after dispatching the 62mph dash in 10.1 seconds. It’s no weed, this engine; there’s also 320Nm of torque, between 1800-2500rpm. And a six-speed gearbox keeps it all under reigns.

Only three colours are available – red, silver or pearl-effect black – with basic prices starting from £17,000 plus VAT. If you’re quick, you can catch them at Interbuild 2008, held at the NEC between 26-30 October.

Vauxhalls keep on rolling
VAUXHALL has reminded us that it’s Britain’s biggest van maker – as the 600,000th Vivaro rolls off the Luton production line.

The product of a joint venture between Vauxhall and Renault, it’s been in production since 2001.

Luton produces all European low-roof versions of the van – for Renault and Nissan, as well as Vauxhall and Opel.

Over 95,000 were built last year alone, bringing employment to 1400 people in Luton.

Paul Staes, plant director of GMM Luton, said: ‘The success of the multi-award winning Vivaro is down to the hard work and dedication of our workforce.’

At GMM Luton, total production for 2007 reached record levels of 95,030.  The plant employs over 1,400 people in the Luton area, and is a significant contributor to both the British and local economies.

Vauxhall as a whole? In 2007, it sold over 53,000 vans in the UK – a record. The Vivaro was also the UK’s best-selling van for retail customers in September.

Commercials can be green…
EVER wondered how economical vans can be? What sort of mileage your delivery drivers should be achieving?

Well, if they’re in Ford Transits, challenge them to return 47mpg. That’s what the blue oval’s famous commercial returned in this year’s MPG Marathon challenge, anyway.

It was enough to earn Transits first and second place in the Marathon, with best-in-class fuel consumption and lowest cost per mile.

The 2.2-litre Ford Transit TDCi short and medium wheelbase vans were the most payload-efficient commercial vehicles in the competition, over a tough 400-mile route.

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Barry Gale, Ford commercial vehicle chief engineer, said:  “This is a great result for the UK’s favourite van, and reflects well on our Essex-based Ford Transit engineering team.

‘Minimising operating costs is the ultimate goal for fleet managers, and we’re delighted that a well-driven Ford Transit can lead the field.’

Offer your delivery drivers a paid-for curry night if, over a month, they can beat it…

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