2016 Major Vehicle Launches: A Year in Review
From simple Euro-6 upgrades to full product design make-overs, the last few years have been busy with product launches in the heavy commercial vehicle market, meaning that 2016 was dominated by news from the van sector.
Visitors to this year’s CV Show were inundated with ‘premieres’ from the light vehicle sector.
Next Generation Scania
Perhaps the most anticipated launch of the year, the #NextGenScania event, took place in front of 1,200 customers, dealers and press from around the world, as well as being broadcast live online. The launch, held in Paris on 23 August, showcased the new S- and R-series models.
According to the manufacturer, the next generation models were under development for 10 years at a cost of SEK 20bn (£1.8bn). Henrik Henriksson, President and CEO of Scania, said: “It is undoubtedly the biggest investment in Scania’s 125-year history”.
The manufacturer proposes that the new S-series, which was tested over 10 million kilometres during the development process, is 5% more efficient than the most recent Scania model.
The streamlined exterior design gives greater aerodynamic performance and the engines have been overhauled for better efficiency. A new seating position offers more room for drivers, additional in-cab benefits include added storage and greater visibility. The ‘connectivity’ of the truck allows for maintenance schedules determined by actual usage, rather than traditional mileage or calendar methods.
The 410hp, 450hp and 500hp models use SCR-only for exhaust after treatment (with a 370 version in plan) and the 520hp, 580hp and 730hp options use a combination of EGR and SCR.
Scania has indicated a price premium of +6.5% over the current range, which will remain in production until 2018. The new designs and technology will eventually transfer to the P- and G- series models.
In early December, Shrewsbury-based Chris Good Haulage was one of the first UK operators to receive a Next Generation Scania – a 6x2 S500 tractor unit.
Scania’s new truck range lifted the 2017 International Truck of The Year Award at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show, and to top off an exciting year, Northern Irish Scania dealer, Road Trucks, secured ‘Franchise Dealer of Year’ at the CM Awards.
Iveco Stralis NP & XP and Iveco New Daily
Mid-year saw two new versions of the Iveco Stralis launched, the XP and NP, plus the New Daily for the van market. While recent messaging from all manufacturers has focused on improved fuel consumption, Iveco’s claims have perhaps been the most prominent.
The Stralis XP (extra performance) has been deemed by the manufacturer as “possibly the most fuel efficient long-haul truck in the industry”, with claims of improved economy of 11.2%, which have been validated by TÜV SÜD, a leading European technical certification centre.
The XP demonstrator has toured the country, dubbed the ‘TCO2 Champion’, as part of Iveco’s sponsorship of the FTA Transport Manager conference series.
A significant part of the Iveco proposition is their HI-SCR selective catalytic reduction system, which meets Euro-6 standards without EGR and therefore boasts no requirement for active regeneration, resulting in no forced stops.
Although 9% more expensive than a regular Stralis, Iveco said the truck will have a two-year payback in long-haul operations.
The Stralis NP (natural power) is Europe’s first long-haul gas-powered truck, designed to run on either LPG or CNG. While many alternate fuel propositions are in development stages, this is the first genuine offering to the long-haul market, with the first of 20 NP models delivered to a German operator.
Equipped with a 400hp engine, it promises to be as good as diesel in terms of performance, payload and versatility, and guarantees the same or better total cost of ownership.
The Iveco New Daily Euro-6 family was also launched to the UK at the CV Show, following its international press launch in Italy.
The van delivers multiple updates to the International Van of the Year 2015, with new and powerful 2.3 and 3.0-litre engines.
The manufacturer claims fuel savings of up to 8% and up to 12% on repair and maintenance costs, compared with previous Euro-5 models.
LDV MAXUS Range
LDV returned to the UK this year, following a seven-year absence. Built in China by SAIC Maxus (part of the Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation), the vans are being imported into the UK by Dublin-based Harris Group.
The first model, launched at the CV Show, was the V80, which is a heavily re-engineered Maxus.
Available as a chassis cab, panel van or minibus, it has GVWs of either 3.2 or 3.5 tonnes and features a Euro-5 2.5-litre VM Motori turbo diesel engine.
The Maxus van range offers a choice of three roof heights, two wheelbase lengths and three gross vehicle weights: 2.8-tonne, 3.2-tonne and 3.5-tonne GVW.
All LDVs are “competitively priced” and carry a five-year 125,000-mile warranty and roadside assistance.
Other Van Launches
Other 2016 van releases were:
- Volkswagen Crafter. The winner of the 2017 International Van of the Year was said to be the “stand out van in the particularly strong field”. Judges were impressed by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle’s huge commitment in developing the van by themselves, having ended an agreement to share the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter platform. The all-new model is being manufactured in a purpose-built facility in Poland (first models will arrive in the UK in 2017).
- Volkswagen New Amorak Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles revealed the first images of its face-lifted New Amarok pick-up at the IAA Show.
- Citroën Dispatch & Peugeot Expert. PSA Group Peugeot-Citroën chose the CV Show for the first public appearance of the new range of Citroën Dispatch and Peugeot Expert vans. Previously only available in one length, the range now includes compact, standard and long wheelbase versions.
- Toyota Proace.The Japanese car giant is renewing efforts in the commercial vehicle industry with the launch of the second iteration of the Proace, from the new Sevel Nord joint van venture with PSA.
- Toyota Hilux. The eighth generation of Toyota Hilux pick-up made its UK debut at the CV Show, with claims the new vehicle is even tougher than the current model.
- Fiat Fullback. Fiat also released its new medium-duty pick-up truck that is based on the recently revamped Mitsubishi L200.
- Fiat Talento. The Fiat Talento, set to occupy the 2.6- to 3-tonne GVW portion of the market, is pitched against its previous partners Citroen and Peugeot, but will be built by Renault alongside its Trafic in France.
- Mercedes Benz Limited Edition Sprinter. Mercedes-Benz introduced a limited edition ‘Premium’ Sprinter for retail customers. The additional features follow the 20th anniversary model in 2015.
By Laura Reeve
Renault Trucks introduces anti-rollaway device as an option
Renault Trucks has introduced an anti-rollaway device as an option for its Range T, C and K trucks with electronic park brakes.
Commercial director Nigel Butler said the system automatically applies the park brake if the driver’s door is opened with the vehicle moving at less than 3km/h.
It has been in development for a number of years following requests from operators, but concerns over accidental deployment at higher speeds meant the launch was delayed while adequate safeguards were built in.
Renault is also adding a low-entry cab version of its Range D rigid lorry for urban applications such as refuse collection – a new market for Renault. The range, due to start trials in London in January, will come in 4x2, 6x2, 6x4 and Tridem variants.
Renault has had a “fantastic 2016”, Butler said, maintaining market share at 6% for trucks above 16 tonnes. The Brexit vote had no real effect on customers purchasing trucks and vans.
“They are still ordering trucks,” he said. “It is business as usual and some fleets are accelerating their buying plans.”
This could be because the devaluation of the pound against the euro will increase costs, and Butler admitted that predicting truck prices next year was “next to impossible”.
Renault funds 40% of the new trucks it sells, with a further 27% going on contract hire via its subsidiary BRS. Almost eight in 10 are sold with repair and maintenance contracts.
Butler said there was a glut of four- and five-year-old Euro-5 tractors on the market, which was depressing second-hand prices, partly because export markets are reluctant to accept Euro-5 vehicles.