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Volume 16. No 3. Autumn 2019

Volkswagen Transporter T6.1

An evolution of the species

DRIVEN: Mitsubishi L200 Generation 6

INTERVIEW: Denis Le Vot, Renault - Nissan LCV LAUNCH PADS: MS-RT Ford Transit Connect • Toyota Professional • LECV • Mercedes-Benz EQV AWARDS: International Cargobike of the Year 2019 REVIEW: National Ploughing Championships 2019 FIRST DRIVE: Ford Transit Hybrids




NEDC combined consumption (l/100 km): 4.0 to 4.6. NEDC combined CO2 emissions (g/km): 109 to 119. *Optional or standard, according to version. | 3

Contents Autumn 2019

Fleet Van & Utility holds the Chairmanship of the International Van of the Year Jury

4 News • Update on Pick-up market • UPS works with TEVVA on hybrids • Toyota ready to serve Irish Army • Carvin’s new Ford double Connect(ion)

18 Review National Ploughing Championships 2019, Carlow

6 Interview With Denis Le-Vot, RenaultNissan LCV

22 First Drive I Generation 6 Mitsubishi L200

8 Cover First Drive in new Volkswagen T6.1

Fleet Van & Utility Magazine, D’Alton Street, Claremorris, County Mayo, Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)94 9372819 Fax: +353 (0)94 9373571 Email: Subscription Hotline: 094 93 72827 Editor: Jarlath Sweeney Contributors: Cathal Doyle, Rob Van Dieten, Orla Sweeney, Johannes

Reichel Photography: Jarlath Sweeney, Cathal Doyle, Rob Van Dieten, Orla Sweeney,, Johannes Reichel Administration: Orla Sweeney, Denise Owens, Paula Mullarkey Advertising: Mary Morrissey, Orla Sweeney Design: Eamonn Wynne Printed in Ireland

Disclaimer: Fleet Van&Utility Magazine management can accept no responsibility for the accuracy of contributed articles or statements appearing in this magazine and any views or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Fleet Transport management, save where otherwise indicated. No responsibility for loss or distress occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by the authors, contributors, Editors or publishers. The Editor reserves the right to make publishing decisions on any advertisements or editorial article submitted to the magazine and to refuse publication or to edit any editorial material as seems appropriate to him. Professional legal advice should always be sought in relation to any specific matter.

10 Long Distance Euro test on the Renault Megane Sport Tourer Commercial

20 Advertorial Profile on Blackstone Motors

24 First Drive II Ford’s new Mild Hybrid Transits hit the road 26 Launch Pad III LEVC & EQC premiered at the Frankfurt Motor Show


12 Launch Pad I Introducing the MS-RT Ford Transit Connect 14 Awards International Cargobike of the Year 2019 16 Launch Pad II Herald the arrival of Toyota Professional


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4 | NEWS I

Pick-up market needs to pick-up


he European marketplace for 1-tonne Pick-up trucks remains stagnant despite a number of new brands and badges entering the sector in recent years. However, there is hope and expectation from the various stakeholders in the industry that market trends will change towards these type of vehicles as they offer more individuality than many unexciting SUVs that have taken over the marketplace right now. Ford is the run-away leader with the Ranger dominating the European market, accounting for 46,310 sales last year. Japanese brands fi ll the podium places with the Toyota Hilux (23,655) and Nissan Navara (22,045). Mitsubishi with its L200 is next on 17,793 with the Volkswagen Amarok rounding off the top 5. But if one adds the L200 figure with that of the FIAT Professional Fullback, on which the L200 is based, its 4,564 sales would elevate Mitsubishi to third place. (See list for other competitor’s sales figures). Leading up to the introduction of the sixth generation L200, the current model is still doing remarkably well for Mitsubishi Motors Europe (MME) across European sales markets. For the fi rst seven months of 2019, 14,309 units were sold, that is a 12% increase over last year, significantly contributing to MMEs overall gain of 10.8% in the EU from 67,208 sales.

to withdraw the vehicle from the marketplace altogether. Altogether Pick-ups have a 1% share of the European Union States automotive volume. With respect to Renault, the French manufacturer has yet to put its full support behind the Navara based product as it is not available in certain EU markets, notably the UK and Ireland. Waiting in the wings for a more serious onslaught are Toyota and Isuzu, which are due to launch new models of their Hilux and D-MAX respectively. Top 10 Pick-ups for a 1% EU Market Share

Sales 2018


Ford Ranger



Toyota Hilux



Nissan Navara


It has been said that Ford deserves credit for bringing on the rugged, muscular look to the Pick-up market, kick-starting a new trend, being bolder, more muscular and appealing to the professional user. Mitsubishi has followed suit with a more robust design with its Generation 6 L200.


Mitsubishi L200



Volkswagen Amarok



Isuzu D-Max



Mercedes-Benz X-Class


As the figures state, the relative newcomers into the segment have failed to ignite the marketplace typified by the disappointing results from Mercedes-Benz with its X-Class (based on the Navara). Now Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company has decided


Fiat Fullback



RA M 1500



Renault Alaskan


Of the 416,000 L200’s currently in operation across Europe, 94,610 units of the L200 generations have been sold since its introduction in 2015.

UPS collaborates with TEVVA on hybrid technology


oovercometherangelimitations of pure electric vehicles within the logistics industry, advanced technology developed in collaboration with TEVVA has facilitated UPS to introduce a new line of range-extended hybrid electric delivery vehicles (REEVs) to its fleets. “This is a big breakthrough for our continued use of electric vehicles – and for the communities we serve,” says FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Autumn 2019

Luke Wake, Director of Automotive Engineering & Advanced Technology, UPS International. “The range jumps from 100km to 400km is the result of UPS’s latest collaboration with TEVVA. We can serve our customers with lower emission, alternatively-fuelled vehicles in places beyond the reach of existing pure electric vehicles at this weight class. Since 2009, UPS has invested more than $1 billion in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally.

But news like this really brings home the evolution of our rolling laboratory – you can now actually see progress like this out on the roads in and out of Birmingham and Southampton.” Based on the Mercedes-Benz Vario 7.5 tonne GVW bespoke designed delivery panel van, the 10 new REEVs operate using ground breaking hybrid electric vehicle technology, which increases route range while maintaining the cargo capacity of


Irish Defence Forces order 280 new Toyota Land Cruisers


he Toyota Land Cruiser has been selected as the vehicle of choice for the Irish Defence Forces for the next four years. Toyota Ireland has confirmed an order for 280 new Toyota Land Cruisers for the Government Department, with first vehicles arriving in late 2019. The Land Cruisers will be enabled to operate sophisticated onboard IT and communications equipment commensurate with the requirements of a modern defence force. All Land Cruisers are also fully compliant with Euro 6 emissions guidelines which will contribute to lower fuel costs and reduced CO2 emissions.

and reliable vehicle since its introduction into Ireland in 1973. It’s off-road ability and durability is legendary.”

Commenting on the major contract, Steve Tormey, CEO, Toyota Ireland said: “Toyota Ireland is delighted to be chosen as the 4x4 supplier to the Irish Defence Forces for the coming 4 years. The Toyota Land Cruiser has proven itself to be an incredibly tough

The Toyota Land Cruiser, which is synonymous with toughness and the ability to perform in some of the world's harshest conditions, has proven its capabilities over the decades with organisations such as the UN, the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontieres.

Carvin’s unique New Ford Transit Connect pairing


arvin Property Management Ltd has renewed its mobile service unit fleet in a unique way by purchasing two different generations of the award-winning Ford Transit Connect range. Nicky Carvin, Managing Director of the Balbriggan, County Dublin based company explained: “Yes, we purchased the last model of the previous generation Transit Connect and also a version of the new edition.” The newest variant is the Trend trim line powered by Ford’s 1.5 litre Eco Blue diesel. Nicky is impressed with its low fuel consumption. He also likes the fact that it comes with Reverse Sensors, Cruise Control and Air-conditioning.

traditional diesel vehicles of the same weight class. “Commercial vehicles account for 27% of transport related CO2 and 5% of total

With contracts all around Leinster, Carvin Property Management Ltd operates a mixed fleet of light commercials running Opel and Nissan mid-sized vans. The

greenhouse gas emissions on Europe’s roads. EU legislation says that this needs to be cut by 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030,” said Richard Lidstone-Scott, Commercial Director, TEVVA Motors Ltd. “What that

company provides routine management, repairs and maintenance, administration and legal services.

means is that the electrification of the medium duty truck sector is inevitable, yet many firms and OEMs are still scratching their heads about how and when to make that happen. At TEVVA we already have viable technology, proven in real-world trials, which can help companies like UPS reduce emissions to almost zero without compromising their businesscritical ability to carry full payloads. What’s more, we’re already working on new technologies to make our solution more efficient still.”


Groupe Renault exploring new avenues for last mile emission-free deliveries next year. With a sculpted and dynamic design, created by Laurens van den Acker, (Corporate Design Chief, Groupe Renault), it can be adapted to the changes of working and mobility modes.” “With traffic congestion in cities and the rise of e-commerce, urban deliveries are transforming and EZ-FLEX is a proposed solution:” Denis Le-Vot. •


leader in the European marketplace for vans and electric light commercials, Groupe Renault is pursuing an ambitious strategy on its business side. For instance, it is exploring new avenues for last mile emission-free deliveries with EZ-FLEX, an experimental electric and connected LCV. In an exclusive interview with Denis Le Vot, Alliance SVP, Renault-Nissan LCV Business Unit, he described the process around “developing accurate and innovative solutions to support our professional clients business development.” EX-FLEX follows on from the EZ-PRO concept car, revealed earlier by Groupe Renault. With the volume of transported goods in the world expected to quadruple by 2050, Renault’s future vision of urban delivery will be in action at least twenty years before that – with electric, autonomous and connected vehicles, as Denis Le Vot explained. “We are looking at designing our electric vehicles to become even more efficient, more fun to drive, with more regeneration from deceleration. As we all know the urban delivery ecosystem involves logistics companies, local and City Authorities, infrastructure providers and automakers. Renault EZ-FLEX is an experimental compact, electric connected vehicle designed for last-kilometre urban deliveries. A fi rst trial is currently being carried out with Groupe La Poste in Paris,


to test the vehicle and its services.” “The vehicle is equipped with sensors to track their use. Th is information will be combined with feedback from operators during the trial. A broad range of data is being collected, such as; geolocation, mileage, autonomy, door opening, speed, stops, etc. The data is being transferred in real time or once a day via the vehicle’s connectivity in order to gain an overview of the vehicle’s actual use in day-today operation. The analysis of the data, together with feedback from operators such as La Poste, enables Renault to design vehicles that are better suited to changing urban logistics practices.”

Renault EZ-FLEX, revealed in April 2019, is an experimental, electric and connected light commercial vehicle that is compact and easy to handle and features a modular rear design to meet the mobility requirements of delivery persons. As an electric vehicle, it ensures sustainable mobility. Its modular rear design may be evolved and will serve to map out future changes to the ecosystem. Connected and equipped with an array of sensors used to collect and analyse data on use, forging a better understanding of the reality of everyday deliveries. All the data will be used to adapt the light commercial vehicle to the challenges of future urban deliveries.

“With these experiments, Renault inaugurates a further programme to prepare and design the innovations of the future. The collaborative approach taken by the two companies demonstrates the new agile development processes adopted by both groups and will be based on realtime user feedback.” “As demand for last-kilometre delivery soars, the diversity of rear modules is unlimited. Renault EZ-FLEX was designed to adapt to the needs of the future. Its interchangeable rear modules can be connected to the vehicle.” Denis also spoke about the Kangoo Z.E. concept, another urban and electric CDV (Compact Delivery Vehicle) which is the precursor to the all-new Kangoo due Text & Photos: Jarlath Sweeney –

The New TRAFIC & MASTER from Renault Pro+

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Visit your local Renault dealer today. Models Shown: New Trafic SL30 ENERGY dCi 120 Sport Nav, RRP €29,045 and New Master FWD MM33 dCi 135 Business+, RRP €30,050.


Volkswagen Transporter gets tech upgrade to T6.1 st


ve i r D


olkswagen Commercial Vehicles chose Amsterdam as the launch venue for its latest evolution of the Transporter family of vans and passenger carriers. Not by accident perhaps, given that the first early drawings of the original T1 are on exhibit at the Rijk Museum in the city. Here we are seventy years and 12 million unit sales later, and the time has come for the current sixth generation T6 Transporter to enter the digital era. As such the T6.1 is upon us fully refreshed, uploaded and connected.

Also part of the ‘Reset’ is meeting green targets and that has been achieved with newly engineered 2.0 litre TDI diesel engines and the availability of electric versions through VW Group sister company ABT.

Andre Bertelsmeier, Head of Product Marketing T-series highlighted that the T1 was the actual founder of the B-segment van, now known better as the medium sized 1-tonne + load carrier or people mover.

From a driver aspect, there are a number of assistance and safety systems. Electro-mechanical power steering is being used for the first time in the T6.1 – offering two benefits – it can be controlled as needed and thereby reduce fuel consumption. At the same time it lends itself to a number of driver assistance systems such as Lane Assist, Park Assist and Trailer Assist.

Making a good vehicle even better is what Volkswagen has achieved with the latest Transporter, said Andre. Explaining why the new van has the point one (T6.1) moniker, he said it’s like mobile phones or notepads in that they are regularly upgraded with the latest technology, digitally. But in the case of the Transporter T6.1, it’s more than soft ware downloads as hardware updates have been developed too as evident with the modifications to the vehicles’ exterior and interior.

While the Transporter commercial selection covers the panel van, crew cab Kombi, platform/chassis-cab for multipurpose delivery and utility operations, the popular people mover family consists of the Shuttle, Caravelle, Multivan and California Campervan.

As felt during the inaugural test drive around the busy streetscapes of Amsterdam, compared to the hydraulic system it replaces, the steering more positive, offering the driver added comfort and improved handling. Appreciated too was the Rear Traffic Alert and Cross Wind Assist, the former particularly advantageous in cities such as Amsterdam where bikes are so prevalent, alerting the driver to cyclists behind. The new T6.1 has its own distinct look compared to the T6, with a larger grille and bumper surround dominating the front end. Chrome embellishments are featured at different sections depending on the model type and specification level. LED lights, newly designed wheels and colour options are on the order book, which by the way is now open. A more refined cabin and workplace is to be found inside. Apart from the new larger touch screen interface, additional storage space is provided with cup holders placed near the A-Pillars. Revised also


COVER | 9 are multi-adjustable air-vents, a new multifunctional steering wheel and the aforementioned multi-connectivity infotainment systems. By linking up with the Wi-Fi in the vehicle, there is an ocean of data available to hand. So dependence on smart phone coverage is not necessary. Here fleet management is provided covering vehicle and driver performance, sat nav plus other telematics aids, as well as remote diagnostics. Multimedia is probably a better word for the complete set of programmes available through the intuitive touch screen. All of the 2.0 litre TDI 4-cylinder diesel engines have been reengineered to meet the new more stringent Euro 6d TEMP emission standards. Two of the four engines have been reconfigured: the base specification engine has been made more powerful and now delivers 66 kW / 90 PS (previously 62 kW / 84 PS). At the next power level the 2.0 TDI develops 81 kW / 110 PS; it replaces the TDI engines delivering 75 kW / 102 PS and 84 kW / 114 PS. The 2.0 TDI delivering 110 kW / 150 PS and a 2.0 TDI twin turbo with a power output of 146 kW / 199 PS are being carried over from the previous generation Caravelle and Multivan. Both engines also meet the Euro 6d TEMP legislation. As an option the 150 PS TDI can be ordered with a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) and 4MOTION with all-wheel drive. The 6.1 4MOTION is being offered at this power output level as standard with 6-speed manual gearbox and optionally with 7-speed DSG. The 199 PS version is being supplied as standard with DSG and also optionally with 4MOTION. The Bulli 6.1 has front-wheel drive as standard. Behind (and under the driver) is more load space for longer items, which is reached through the back and side doors. Maximum cargo length is extended from 2,450 to 2,800mm with the longer wheelbase (from 2.9 - 3.3m). The cargo area can now be locked independently as standard. The arrival of the T6.1 comes at a time when overall sales are beginning to wane. From January to July this year, a 3.5% decrease in global deliveries was recorded with 120,500 orders taken. Come next year, VWCV will market ABT converted electric versions of both the Transporter and Caddy with differing electric motor/power options. ABT is now well known in the Formula E championship, partnered with Audi Sport. “Now, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has brought the cult model into the era of digitalisation with the Transporter T6.1. A cutting edge icon. The 6.1 goes online, provides information if desired fully digitally, offers partly automated driving functions, upgraded features and an updated design. Advance orders have just started to be taken in the first few countries, with the launch following this autumn. The time in between traditionally belongs to the media, who can now test drive the 6.1 for the first time. Between the T1 press presentation and that of the T6.1 lie 70 years – no other commercial vehicle in the world has been on the market for such a long period and no other commercial vehicle is therefore as fully developed as the Transporter 6.1,” stated Heinz-Jürgen Löw, Member of the Board for Sales & Marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Text & Photos: Jarlath Sweeney –

eCraft er


Renault brings style to Commercial Vehicle Segment

it all packed away, albeit with the help of a roof box - well I needed to factor in a little extra space for some of that French vino on the way home! Covering journeys of over 600km in one day is one way to work out if a vehicle is comfortable or not, and the Renault came up trumps here. The seats provide support in all the right areas and the controls are easily adjustable to suit most shapes and sizes.

Renault Megane Sport Tourer Commercial tested


f you need a small commercial vehicle, but still want to turn heads in the local golf club, a panel van isn’t really going to cut the mustard. That’s why, if load volumes and payload aren’t critical, a passenger car derived commercial vehicle may be an appealing option. Identical in nearly every aspect to their passenger equivalent other than having the rear seats removed, they come with all the features of the passenger version but with the appeal of a commercial VRT rate. The Renault Megane Sport Tourer Commercial is a good example of a vehicle that you’d be very happy to show off in your driveway. This estate version of Renault’s mid-sized family car range is one of the most stylishly proportioned wagons in the segment. In commercial form, based on the mid-spec Iconic model from the passenger range, the only visible distinguisher is that the rear windows are blocked off - though most will assume that it’s just darkened glass from the outside.


Load volume is the same as in the Megane Estate at 1,433 litres. Apart from the windows, the Irish conversion to a commercial involves removing the back seats and installing a flat floor flush with the floor of the boot as well as a small bulkhead behind the front seats. It’s a tidy job complete with attaching hooks, though it’s a pity that regulations demand a flat floor - there’s a considerable amount of space closed off where the passenger seats should be that could be usefully utilised. To put the practicality of the Megane Sport Tourer Commercial to the test I took it this summer to France on a camping road trip. With the tents, camping beds, sleeping bags, cooking utensils and all the other bulky paraphernalia needed for a few weeks away, this was a fair test of its carrying capacity. In fairness, with everything piled up ready to load, I had serious reservations it would fit inside the Megane, to the extent that I was wishing it was a Master van I was taking with me. But some judicious packing saw

A definite highlight is the 1.5 litre dCi diesel engine. Producing 115PS and 260Nm of torque, it’s powerful enough to meet most day to day driving requirements, though you do tend to need to drop a gear for overtaking. On the other hand it’s one of the most frugal engines I’ve ever driven. On my initial cross-country run before loading it up, I averaged 4.3l/100km / 65.7mpg. Overall, with the 3,000km covered having been driven full laden with a roof box on top and bicycle attached to the tow-bar, much of it at French motorway speeds of 130km/h, average consumption was still a highly impressive 5.1l/100km / 46.1mpg. Add in a very quiet and refined unit - you can hardly hear the engine at motorway speeds - and this is, in our opinion, one of the best diesel engines on the market today. Add in all the creature comforts of a modern passenger car including Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, rear parking camera and Multisense system, and it’s easy to see why company drivers would be pressurising their fleet managers to allocate them a Renault Megane Sport Tourer Commerical. In fact the only thing we didn’t like about it was handing it back!

Text & Photos: Cathal Doyle –

Vans that deliver with offers to match Upgrade Bonus of up to €4,000 plus 0% HP Finance


With Upgrade Bonuses across the range, low cost HP Finance and great value leasing options on all orders placed by December 31st, it‘s time to grow your business with a new Volkswagen van. Take a 24 hour test drive at your local dealer or we can come to you, just visit

0% HP finance* €238

Lease from per month with maintenance included and no deposit*

* Prices shown in ad relate to Caddy PV HL TDI 102HP M5F. Typical Finance Example: ROTRP €23,125, less €1,500 bonus is €21,625. Deposit/Part Exchange €6,901. 36 monthly payments of €409. Total cost of credit €0. Typical APR 0%. Minimum deposit is 10%. Subject to lending criteria. Prices are subject to change. Offers are made under a hire purchase agreement and do not apply to fleet sales. Offer for business customers only. Volkswagen Bank GmbH Branch Ireland is authorised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Bonus of €1,500 on Caddy, €3,000 on Transporter/ Amarok and €4,000 on Crafter, all savings VAT inclusive. Offers only apply to N1 commercial vehicle orders placed by 31/12/2019. All offers are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Leasing prices include Service and Maintenance products and exclude VAT. Prices are based on 3 monthly payments upfront. Please contact your local Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Retailer for full details.


MS-RT brings Rally style to Ford’s Commercial Vehicles

*Transit Connect joins Transit Custom in Ford QVM-approved converter’s line-up


f the majority of vans purchased are pure work tools, bought for what they can contribute to the bottom line of a business, there’s also a growing market for commercial vehicles with a litt le bit extra to help them stand out from the crowd. Realising the dreams of those who want their van to combine style with functionality is MS-RT, a South Wales based company which takes regular Ford commercial vehicles and converts them into something a bit more special. MS-RT isn’t merely another run of the mill van converter though, it’s in fact the only Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) for body customisation outside of the USA, having been awarded the much sought after accreditation last November by Blue Oval. QVM status is awarded to selected companies that meet Ford’s exact standards in manufacturing and quality control. It means that MS-RT’s vehicles are offered for sale in select Ford dealerships, but also, critically, its products come with a full Ford Warranty.

side skirts, rear bumper, rear diff user and spoiler. Add a stainless steel sports exhaust system with twin pipes, and 18-inch OZ Racing alloy wheels which are optionally available with a limited edition bronze fi nish, combined with subtle but stylish MS-RT branding, and you’ve got a distinctive vehicle that looks quite different to the everyday Transit Connect. The interior gets special treatment also, with a carbon inlay sports steering wheel and hand-made nappa leather and suede seats and headrests. In addition all customers get an exclusive MS-RT logo-ed bag containing products to help keep the van in tip-top condition. As well as the option for the bronze fi nish alloys, customers can also opt for a Maxhaust exhaust system with app-controlled soundtrack, a rally sticker pack, black exhaust tips and even a full carbon steering wheel.

The company was created in 2014 as a collaboration between vehicle specialists Van-Sport and Malcolm Wilson of M-Sport, the team that runs Ford Fiesta WRCs in the World Rally Championship (MS-RT stands for M-Sport Road Technology).

Other than the modifications listed above, the MS-RT Transit Connect comes with standard Ford parts, necessary to ensure the validity and integrity of the Ford three-year, 100,000-mile (UK) warranty. The changes that are made are subject to detailed requirements, for example no drilling of the body is permitted, and all the new bumpers etc have to be attached to existing mountings.

Transit Connect joins Transit Custom in MS-RT family Last year saw the launch of the fi rst Ford QVM-approved van, the MS-RT Transit Custom, featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Fleet Van & Utility. Now the company has taken the wraps off a second product, the MS-RT Ford Transit Connect.

Specification of the MS-RT Transit Connect is generous. All versions come with LED load space lighting, a premium infotainment pack with nav and a reversing camera, bi-xenon headlights and twin side loading doors. A long-wheelbase version and double cab will be introduced later in the year.

Like it’s bigger brother, the Transit Connect features styling cues taken from Ford’s works rally team with a plastic injectionmoulded body kit comprising front bumper, grilles, front diff user,

MS-RT Founding Director, Edward Davies has high hopes for the new van. “We’ve enjoyed unprecedented success with the MS-RT Transit Custom, with the order books completely full



since launch. Our customers absolutely love their vans and the uniqueness of them, so we expect that the Connect will develop a similar following among those who want a commercial vehicle with genuine motorsport heritage, fantastic sports styling and a full manufacturer-backed warranty.” Going European At present the MS-RT Transit Connect can only be purchased in the UK through one of the forty dedicated Transit Centres, which include Desmond Motors in Derry in Northern Ireland. It is priced in the UK at £23,995 with a six-speed manual gearbox, or £24,995 with automatic transmission, excluding VAT. Happily there are plans to expand into European markets, including Ireland, as early as next year, though Edward Davies admitted that the company is waiting for the Brexit situation to be clarified before fi nal commitments are made. Key target markets where already there has been considerable interest include Norway and Sweden, the Benelux markets, Germany and Austria. A five year success story From a start-up in 2014, MS-RT has grown to a position where it employs 55 full time staff as well as some agency staff. It currently turns out three vehicles a day - two Transit Customs and one Transit Connect - from a single shift at its factory in Pontypool, South Wales.

investment of half a million pounds, today MS-RT has created over 25,000 different parts, and produces body kits from 49 different moulding tools on site. Having QVM-approved status is a huge recognition for MS-RT said Joe Pace, a Director of the company. “Ford couldn’t do what MS-RT is doing,” he commented, observing that the relatively niche market for this type of vehicle means that it wouldn’t be financially viable for the motoring giant to do such developments in-house. QVM status means that customers can be assured that the value of their product isn’t compromised in any way and that they are buying a genuine fully-approved Ford van. “A lot of aftermarket conversions reduce the value of the vehicle, unlike ours,” he noted. While there are no restrictions from Ford on doing conversions of products from other brands, Joe said that that certainly isn’t in MS-RT’s thinking right now, even though he noted that achieving QVM status has created a lot of interest from other manufacturers. While an independent company, MS-RT retains close ties with M-Sport in Cumbria, with access to high-tech equipment such as CCD jigs. Of course the visual link is the strongest, with the rally inspired body kit on the Transit Connect certainly turning heads when we took it for a test drive.

Located in a listed building that was formerly the home of British Nylon Spinners producing nylon yarn, at its peak the facility employed 28,000 people. Compared to the building’s employment heyday, the number of people working at MSRT is relatively small, yet having been derelict for years, the factory is now a hive of activity again, with Transit Connects and Customs in both pre and post modification states lined up all around the facility.

The future What’s next for MS-RT? The expansion into Europe is obviously going to be a key development in the growth of the company, while on the product front we can expect a MS-RT Ranger by the middle of next year. “It will occupy a different space to the Ranger Raptor,” explained Edward, noting that while the Raptor is aimed at the off-road market, the MS-RT Ranger will be a more road-focussed product. Additionally there’s talk of a Fiesta road car with WRC type styling which you’d certainly imagine will generate a lot of interest.

One of the differentiating features of MS-RT is that virtually everything is done by the company itself, from the design to the manufacturing and fitment of parts. This is a considerable source of pride to Edward Davies, who highlighted in particular the fact that the plastic injection-moulded body kits are produced in Pontypool. Having commenced operations in the early days by buying in body parts, he grew frustrated by quality problems and decided to take production in-house. Having secured

The idea of a jazzed up van might be anathema to some, but to the more savvy, it is a perfect promotional tool, a unique opportunity to use a head-turning commercial vehicle to advertise a business. With the security of a factory backed warranty and the backing of Ford behind it, an MS-RT Transit Connect could make a lot of business sense indeed!

Text: Cathal Doyle -


International Cargobike of the Year 2019: Award wins for Velove, Bicycle Carriage & Bicylift


fter an intensive test procedure undertaken by a newly established International panel of Cargo Bike experts, the inaugural International Cargobike of the Year 2019 awards were presented at the International Cargo Bike Festival (ICBF) in Groningen, the Netherlands. The awards, categorised in three classes, are intended to take account the growing trend towards cargo bike logistics in the commercial sector.

Flexi-modal Bicyfi ft

“We hope that the new awards will provide impetus and inspiration to a still young industry, and at the same time we want to highlight the numerous innovations that are happening already,” explained Jury Chairman Johannes Reichel on behalf of the organisers LOGISTRA, the German logistics magazine, published by HUSSVERLAG at the award ceremony. He also thanked ICBF organiser Jos Sluijsmans for the excellent cooperation at the awards event. Johannes mentioned that the fields of application are as diverse as the topographies to which the Cargo Bikes‘ respective electric drive must be tailored, depending on the intended use, for example in parcel delivery, food service or general cargo delivery. “There is simply no Cargo Bike for everything, which is not something that we are used to from the universally useful automobile. However, there are concepts that outplay motorised vehicles in city centres. The new Cargo Bikes can be embedded in decentralised microdepot concepts and decentralised city logistics. Without these, Cargo Bikes make little sense.“

Radkutsche Rapid

“The winning vehicles were characterised by the fact that they already cover a wide range,“ added Johannes. In the Cargo Bike Trailer category, the Bicylift from France’s Flexi-modal was elected the winner. The concept implements a trailer solution suitable for pallets consisting of a U-shaped aluminium profile frame for electrically assisted cargo bikes. Within the Light Cargo Bikes category, the German supplier Radkutsche with its Rapid model took the top spot. Based on a steel frame concept with a large-volume box, the Rapid offers high agility and manoeuvrability with good comfort and strength.

Velove Armadillo

The four-wheeled Velove Armadillo, which has been tailored to commercial and special logistics applications, prevailed in the “King Class” of Heavy Cargo bikes. In addition to the theoretical assessment, the jury carried out intensive test drives with loads on site in order to form a wellfounded opinion about the characteristics of the vehicles,“ concluded Johannes, who is also a Steering Committee member of the International Van of the Year Award jury, from where the judging criteria were based. FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Autumn 2019

Text: Rob Van Dieten -


Engaging Connectivity


The leading Awards Programme for the Irish Road Transport and Haulage Industry.

BOOK NOW TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT Business associates, clients, partners and friends are all welcome to attend the Fleet Transport Awards and Gala Dinner 2020, which will take place on Thursday 10 October 2019 at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin. Book your place now at the biggest event in the Irish transport calendar by emailing or telephone +353 94 9372819. A table of 10 is €1,200.00 + VAT Price includes pre-dinner drinks, 4-course dinner, wine and Awards presentation. A single place is €125.00 + VAT Price includes pre-dinner drinks, 4-course dinner, wine and Awards presentation. Please reserve seats @ €125 or table(s) of ten places @ €1,200 at the Fleet Transport Awards 2020 in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin on Thursday 10 October 2019 commencing at 6.30pm. The above prices are plus VAT and will be shown as such on the official receipt.

Name of Company: _________________________________________________________________ Invoice Address: ___________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ Contact Name: _____________________________ Tel: ___________________________________ Dress Code: Gentlemen: Lounge Suit. Ladies: Cocktail Dress This Booking Form can be posted to: Fleet Transport, D’Alton Street, Claremorris, County Mayo. To book your place now at the biggest event in the Irish transport calendar, contact Orla or Denise on +353 94 9372819 / email: or log on to


Introducing Toyota Professional – LCV B2B


oyota Motor Europe (TME) is on charge - literally - as it begins a new product offensive with a new dedicated identity and the introduction of all-electric vans, while the dealer network will up its game in every aspect of the new business strategy.

along with the Toyota Plus used line-up. The Aftermarket promise assures express 1 hour servicing with the supply of a courtesy van if necessary. Dealer service areas will be upgraded with additional lift capacity for LCVs. Links with accessory suppliers have also been established.

All of TME’s light commercial vehicle activities will come under the newly established Toyota Professional banner catering primarily for large fleet operators, small to medium enterprise (SMEs) and sole traders. Th ree segments will now be covered under its product line-up ranging from the Proace Medium Duty van to the Hilux Pick-up truck, while the new Proace City compact duty van joins the fray before the year-end.

At the press gathering at Toyota Motor Europe’s Italian headquarters near Rome, Andrea Carlucci, Director, Product & Marketing Management, TME mentioned that Toyota wants a bigger share of the 2.4 million LCVs sold all across Europe annually. “The LCV division is to become a key pillar for the company. We’re getting serious and through our alternative powertrain offering, we will meet the ongoing evolution of the urban delivery environment,” he said.

Separately the Toyota dealer network will be strengthened, with a visible Toyota Professional brand identity and new LCV standards. A number of authorised LCV centres will be established with trained and certified LCV sales consultants, while the centres themselves will have the full range of commercial vehicles on display

The Proace, which replaced the long serving and popular Hiace was originally based on the previous generation Peugeot Expert/Citroën Dispatch from Groupe PSA and took some time to take off, but since the arrival of the next generation in 2016, a consistent increase in sales has been achieved.


Last year 21,000 units were sold with projections for 31,000 by year-end and rising. As TME is only present in two of the four LCV segments, and with no presence in the fast growing Compact Duty Van (CDV) which has 35% of the total LCV market with 822,000 units annually, that issue is being addressed with the introduction of the Proace City. Again, the collaboration with Groupe PSA continues as the ‘City’ is made by PSA in Vigo, Spain for Toyota. As a matter of interest, the MDV – Medium Van Segment commands 30% of the whole market with 717,000 units annually. Pick-up sales are at 7% with the Hilux’s market share at 17% of the 174,000 units registered across the EU. Andrea then commented about the move towards electric mobility which is increasingly relevant due to a changing and challenging operating environment such as city restrictions, company tenders requiring battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and the ever-demanding e-Commerce industry. “In general, LCVs are becoming more important for OEMs (auto manufacturers) in relation to revenue and profit,” he said – with the business stemming from what he described as CASE – Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric vehicles. And so, Toyota’s future commercial vehicle line-up will consist of Proace and Proace City Electric (in-line with Toyota Motor Corporation global policy) while the diesel powered Hilux remains with an internal combustion engine offering, for now! To become the ‘Electrification leader,’ Andrea said that “TME aims to leverage its hybrid heritage in this regard and by the end of 2020 achieve 100,000 unit sales.


And with two LCV EV introductions in 2021, the building of its LCV value chain will gather further momentum. One of these will be the Proace City, which will be in full fl ight at dealerships by then. As per the Groupe PSA’s Peugeot Partner/ Citroën Berlingo/Opel-Vauxhall combo offering, it comes with two wheelbase lengths and class leading cargo volume and payload. Petrol and diesel 1.2 litre (110/130 hp) and 1.5 litre (975/100/130 hp) engines are available with 6-speed manual or 8 speed-automated box. As with the others, all technology on board is shared and that includes the innovative Smart Load Indicator. Umberto Mazzone, Manager, LCV Market at TPE stated that the Proace will be the LCV ‘centre of gravity’ for the brand in four ways; fleet acceleration, brand booster, a one stop-shop for fleet customers and a key value chain for revenue growth. A clear focus on fleet is being targeted as current 60%/40% split between LCV and passenger vehicles in the CDV sector is charging upwards towards 76% LCV. By entering the largest volume segment, Toyota knows that 50% of fi rst time LCV purchases enter this sector. Of these 75% will buy an LCV again with 60% becoming repeat LCV buyers.

“Our volume ambition for Proace City in its fi rst full year is 35,000 per year,” he declared. “SMEs and the self-employed are part of the forward focus also. But product is just a part of a competitive LCV proposition,” he added, citing sales skills, delivering customer’s promises and adapting the business model is paramount. “The line up is here, the pricing strategy is good, and with the addition of accessories and conversions together with strong brand network, Toyota Professional is ‘Ready to go’.” As Umberto said, “We know what you do is never just business. We at Toyota have always got your back.” Each model is to have a well-defi ned role with this placement positioning namely the Proace City for Urban use, the Proace (Multiple) and Hilux for Offroad. Combined with Toyota’s renowned reliability it all culminates to state that “Toyota Professional is the most trusted LCV brand.” Rodrigo Garcia de Paz, Senior Manager Fleet at TME in Brussels said that a full review of Toyota’s Business Centre’s programme was needed to meet LCV needs in order to optimise profit and volume opportunities by enhancing Selling Power and Servicing. Th is can

Text & Photos: Jarlath Sweeney -

be done in four ways1. Market - Anticipate the Fleet and LCV market growth; 2. Performance – Toyota Fleet and LCV opportunities; 3. Self-reflection – Need to focus on quality standards; and 4. LCV offensive – Need to be ready to optimise all the opportunities that the new LCV line-up will bring. As outlined previously regarding the dealer input he concluded that a PanEuropean network strategy flexible to fit the different local market needs is required. Tim Thompson, Senior Manager, Marketing Management, LCV at TME, stated that with many cities introducing restrictions on internal combustion engined vehicles, Toyota Electric vehicles will be ready. He went on to talk about the Proace Electric and said that clients will notice no styling differentiation except for the badging to the regular model. Toyota Motor Europe’s partners in this electrification project is BD-Auto, the Turkish based conversion specialists. With Toyota Professional, we have created a consistent LCV umbrella brand,” concluded Vincent Dewaergegger, Senior Communication Director, TME.


2019 National Ploughing Championships


ll roads led to Ballintrane, Fenagh, County Carlow for the 2019 National Ploughing Championships. An easily accessible site and the sun shining provided the ideal ploughing conditions for the venue. With a record breaking attendance of 297,000 visitors over the three days, exhibitors and visitors enjoyed and reaped the benefits. Fleet Van & Utility representatives were on hand to catch the action from the exhibitor's stands at the event. AIB Finance & Leasing

Stephen Frampten and Pat Moore - AIB Finance & Leasing. Citroën

Celebrating 100 years of Citroën was Cathal Kealey, Communication & Events Executive Citroën & DS Ireland. Granco

Pat Grant, Granco, Fruehauf trailers had a busy few days.


Best Drive

Eddie Ryan and Rory O’Hagan at the newly rebranded Continental Tyres Best Drive stand. Dennisons

Dennison Trailers had a number of new trailers on exhibit, including this curtainsider. Land Rover

Melanie McCourt, Marketing Manager; Jonathan Norman, Sales Manager and David Ford, Corporate Fleet Sales Manager, Jaguar Land Rover Ireland.


Chris Ewing, Martin Lee and Jonathan Jenkinson - Brigade Electronics UK. FUSO

FUSO eCanter att racted a lot of attention as the world’s fi rst series produced fully electric 7.5 tonne truck. Manitou

Colin D’Arcy-Burt, UK Sales Manager; Eamon Bolger, Sales Executive and Peter Smyth, Sales Director.

REVIEW | 19 Mitsubishi Motors

Kelly Berkeley and Natasha Maher along side the new Gen 6 Mitsubishi L200. Peugeot

The new 208 was launched here. Pictured (l-r) were Eoin Quinn, Ciaran Cusack, Emma Toner, Mick Humby and Paul Tier, Gowan Distributors. Sortimo

Donal O’Sullivan, Judith Brenner, Abigail Noone, Damien Noone, Christina Spencer, Peter O’Connor, David Kehoe and Charlie Bergin, all from the German company.

Modern Tyres

Out in force - Brendan McGoldrick, Donal Collins, Stephen Shaw, Billy Evans & Ashley Finan. Road Safety Authority

Bergan Kelly, John Norton and Sandra Lawlor were on hand to advise about road safety issues. Subaru

Denis Ryan, Denis & Mary Ryan Car Sales, Cork with customer Denis O’Leary and Noel Hughes, After Sales Manager Subaru.

Newton Trailers

Robert and TJ O’Brien were enjoying the sunshine while meeting and greeting customers. Skoda Ireland

Keith Purdy, Fleet Manager and Ciara Breen, Events & Sponsorship Manager Skoda Ireland. Toyota

Zoe Bradley, Toyota Ireland pictured with the popular C-HR Hybrid.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, the official motoring partner of the National Ploughing Championships for the ninth consecutive year had some impressive premieres, noteably the Transporter 6.1 and the new Crafter based Grand California. Pictured with the Transporter T6.1 is Alan Bateson, Director, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland. Text & Photos: Orla Sweeney -


Blackstone Motors Regional Renault & Dacia Dealer for the North East of Ireland


lackstone Motors, a Renault dealer for over a decade, fi rst opened its dedicated showroom in Drogheda back in 2008. Subsequently, in October 2016, a new state-of-the-art Blackstone dealership opened in Cavan, covering Counties Cavan and Monaghan. A newly constructed stand-alone Dacia showroom will also open on the Cavan premises later this year. With the opening of the new Dundalk sales and service centres, Blackstone now has full coverage of the North East territory – Counties Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Cavan. Market Share Blackstone Motors' performance over the past five years have been strong throughout the Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Cavan areas. This can only be achieved by offering a top level of customer service, according to Noel Stewart, Managing Director: “We pride ourselves on offering the best customer service in both Sales and After-Sales,” he commented. “When a customer buys a light commercial from either Blackstone Drogheda, Dundalk or Cavan, we will guarantee a courtesy vehicle in the event the customers’ van needs a routine service or repair. Th is gives our customers great confidence in knowing they will always be mobile, in order to carry out their business and keep the show on the road.”


Last month, Renault was the clear winner in the LCV market in Ireland taking the fi rst step on the national sales podium with an impressive 20.4% market share, maintaining third position overall, year-to-date. Models such as the Renault Master, Trafic and Kangoo took the top spots in the large, medium and small van markets respectively. The Kangoo finished the month as the number one van in Ireland while Master maintains its leadership position in the large van segment year-to-date. With the launch of the new Master and the latest Trafic, the styling and quality of the Renault van range will step up again in the months to follow. Blackstone Motors has the entire range of Renault Commercial Vehicles. Need a new van for your business? Test drive a new Master, new Trafic or Kangoo or talk to Group Commercial Sales Manager, Seán Pierson, who would be happy to help you decide what size of commercial van best suits your needs. Blackstone Motors, the double SIMI award-winning dealership, not only has amazing fleet offers available, in addition Renault LCV customers can avail of 3.9% APR, five years’ warranty, five years’ roadside assistance, and further special Ex-Demo & Fleet Van offers.


Drogheda Showroom

Blackstone makes buying a new or used van EASY At Blackstone Motors, the main aim is to make buying a new or used van an enjoyable and easy process. All trade-ins are accepted - any make, any model and in any condition. An in-house Finance Specialist is available to package a personalised finance deal for the new purchase. Buying a vehicle has never been so easy! For questions about any of Blackstone Motors Commercial Vans, please call any of its dealerships on 041 9831100 (Drogheda), 042 9331111 (Dundalk) or 049 4326111 (Cavan).

Cavan Showroom

Limited Offers “Don’t miss out on Blackstone Motors further special Ex-Demo & Fleet Van offers,” advises Seán. Each of the Blackstone dealerships has a special promotion of nearly new Master Box Body Vans, which Seán is keen to promote: “The Master Box Body has got everything needed from a sizable payload of 1280kg to a long, roomy loading height of 560mm, to a loading bay length of 4140mm. It has a loading bay height of 2140mm and loading bay width of 2030mm – with a 5 Europallet capability – all comes for just €99 per week (Ex-VAT).”* “It is super versatile, and can also make the working day easier and safer, with electronic stability controls (ESC) now standard on every version of the Master as well as Hill Start Assist, Grip Xtend and Trailer Swing Assist. So, whatever the trade: from plumber, farmer to florist - the Master Box Body has got you covered,” he added.

*T&C’s - Master Box Body: Finance example. RRP €39,950. Deposit €11,250. Term 60 monthly payments of €527.26 (€428.67 Ex-VAT monthly). Total cost of credit €3,085.60, incuding fees of €150. Offer exclusive to Renault Bank. Excess mileage plus excess wear and tear charges may apply upon return of vehicle. Offer is made under a hire purchase agreement. Subject to lending criteria. Terms and conditions apply. See [Warning: You will not own these goods until the final payment is made]. Renault Bank is a trading name of RCI Banque Branch Ireland and is authorised and regulated by the French banking authority and supervised by the Central Bank for conduct of business purposes.

Dundalk Showroom

Noel Stewart, Managing Director; Paul Holland, Dealer Principle Blackstone Motors Dundalk & Sean Pierson, Group Commercial Sales Manager


New Sixth Generation Mitsubishi L200 builds on 40 years of heritage

Due to customer demand, the list of accessories from Mitsubishi for the new L200 has increased from 33 to 44 items including this new canopy box.


ith the emergence of new brands and models to the 1-tonne Pick-up market, the long established manufacturers are fighting back strongly with refreshed high-tech new models. Mitsubishi Motors is one such manufacturer that has a long and renowned pedigree in the sector and with the arrival of the sixth generation version of the L200, gains in marketshare is the objective, especially for its Irish importers. At their peak back in 2003, Pick-up commercials held a 12% share of the overall light commercial vehicle sales, with Mitsubishi Motors Ireland commanding a generous 37% of that segment. Government changes to the vehicle registration taxation system subsequently stymied the buoyant sales stream for the following years which dipped in 20152018 to just 5% of LCV sales.


However, 2019 is seeing a comeback for the open-back truck, up 11% year to date. While the current marketplace has seen a rise in higher grade trim levels, the bread ‘n’ butter utility commercial functionality of these Pick-ups are still a priority, according to Emer Dillon, Product Manager, Mitsubishi Motors Ireland. At the pan-European Press Launch near Malaga, Spain, Emer explained that the curtailment of the 5-seater Commercial SUV through a change in Government legislation has led to the higher specification uptake on Pick-ups. Based on this trend, Mitsubishi Ireland is introducing a new flagship ‘Instyle’ grade to meet this specific demand. Topping the bill at €41,935 (inc. VAT) the L200 Instyle has a whole host of enticing extras such as heated and electrically adjustable leather seats, electric and heated exterior mirrors,

corner sensors front and rear, Automatic High Beam, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Ultrasonic Mis-acceleration Mitigation System (UMS) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW). For the fleet, municipal and utility sectors, the entry level Business comes in at €35,000 (inc. VAT) and this time around has got air con, electric windows and mirrors, 16” Alloys, East Select 4WD plus Rear Differential lock. The best seller will continue to be the Intense which is now the middle of the range model. Priced from €37,850 for the 6-speed manual to €39,350 for the new 6-speed automatic version, Intense benefits too from some spec o upgrades such as the inclusion of a 360 multi-all-round view camera system, LED headlights and daytime running lights plus 18” alloys, while on the technical side, Super select 4WD II, off-road mode and Hill Descent Control are included.

FIRST DRIVE I | 23 Access to the AdBlue tank is by releasing a lever beside the diesel filler.

Instantly the new L200 poses a striking appearance with its new ‘Dynamic Shield’ design to match the current design ID from the brand. The bonnet position is 40mm higher to facilitate better forward vision and the position of the headlamp cluster is higher also. Th is gives greater protection all round as do the more substantial bumpers. Wider steps complete the new robust look. Changes have been made to the rear end but are just cosmetic, as the load section has not been touched. Although 5.3m long, the L200 has still the best turning circle in the trade at 5.9 metres. Following the inaugural global launch last November at the L200’s manufacturing homeland in Thailand, a new European specification drivetrain has been introduced. To meet the more stringent WLTP Euro 6 D Temp emission standards a newly engineered 2.2 litre diesel has been developed, matched to a new 6-speed manual and also a new 6-speed automatic. Th is single turbo common-rail, 16 valve, 4-cylinder block now has 150 hp and 400 Nm of torque (between 1,750 and 2,250 rpm) which falls short of the 180 hp/430 Nm from the previous 2.4 litre unit. Unlike the previous generation, this 150 hp engine that uses an SCR – Selective Catalytic Reduction - system (that requires AdBlue) is the only power output available.

Japanese brand’s European sales volume with the Outlander PHEV and ASX the other main sellers. Th is compares starkly with the likes of Ford with its 1.3 million car sales, where the Ranger only contributes 0.3% of overall sales because of having a full selection of cars in each segment. On the lengthy motorway and off-road driving runs through Andalucia, there were certain hilly sections that the 150 hp unit was found wanting, needing gear changes at the top end, compared to the outgoing 180 hp version. However, on the challenging, rocky off-road routes, the low-end torque proved perfectly adequate. Only 100 kg of load weight was loaded and with three passengers on board, the refi nements made to the onroad comfort was evident. Better sound proofi ng enhanced the experience also.

engaged and when the going got tough the low end of the box was necessary. Hill Descent Control came into effect when required. At these slow speeds the multiround view monitor helps to see where the vehicle is actually going, rather than driving blind. In contrast, the 6-automatic moved seamlessly through the gears and at no time laboured on the same route back to Malaga Airport the next day. Towing capacity has not changed from 3.5 tonnes, we are told, but payload has increased slightly. Made in Thailand at Mitsubishi Motors landmark factory that recently built its 4 millionth vehicle, the L200 Generation 6 is back where it belongs at the top end of the marketplace, thanks to a rethink on how a Pick-up should look, feel and work for the professional owner/driver. Mitsubishi has come a long way since the 0.4 tonne three-wheel Mizushima Pick-up from 1946.

On the ascents and descents, Super Select four-wheel drive was automatically

It’s all about adhering to new regulations, meeting emission and fuel economy targets set by Brussels MEPs, according to Daniel Nascass, Head of Communications at Mitsubishi Motors Europe (MME). He emphasised the importance of the L200 to MME in that it represents 12.7% of the Text & Photos: Jarlath Sweeney –


Ford saves on weight and fuel with new Transit Mild Hybrid


The new Transit’s lightweight aluminum bonnet saves 5.4kg compared with a steel equivalent, without sacrificing strength. The new bonnet was comprehensively tested for dent resistance, and performs as well as a steel bonnet in temperatures between minus 30 degrees Celsius and 80 degrees Celsius. On the inaugural test drive around Stockholm, Sweden, the new Transit seems more refined and offers more car-like driving characteristics, enhanced with the introduction of EPAS technology. This system also helps reduce driver fatigue by adding more assistance while parking and manoeuvring, and enables driver assistance technologies including Active Park Assist and Lane-Keeping Aid.

or over fi ft y years Ford has continued to evolve the Transit van family to ensure it keeps at the top end of sales leader board across the globe. The current edition which can be seen in operation all over Europe and more recently in the United States has just received an innovative technical upgrade. In introducing a mild hybrid system on the 2-tonne Transit, Ford engineers have somehow managed to reduce its overall weight. Therefore, more payload and improved fuel economy have been delivered. But that’s not all; this version, which is now on sale, is the most productive and smartest Ford Transit ever. In all, around 4,600 components have been upgraded within the new line-up.

weight has been reduced. For example, the Transit rear-wheel-drive (RWD) 350GVM, long wheelbase, medium-roof model is 80 kg lighter than the comparable out-going model. (The equivalent front-wheel drive van is 48 kg lighter). Interestingly, another small but significant weight saving measure is that the new Transit’s steel wheels were produced using spinning production technique that achieves greater strength using less metal. Th is approach shaves 5.5 kg from the vehicle across five wheels, including the spare. Additional savings of up to 15 kg were achieved by redesigning the rear axle for the rear-wheel-drive model and the new high-strength, lightweight composite bulkhead, cutting 4.4 kg compared with a steel equivalent.

Payload and fuel economy go hand-in-hand, according to Sligo native Michael McDonagh, who is the Global Chief Programme Engineer for the Ford Transit. “Payload is critical for businesses. Lighter weight also improves fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, so every part of the Ford Transit team worked to a weight-saving target, while maintaining strength and durability as a priority. The increased payload further enhances the Transit’s reputation for outstanding productivity,” he said.

Other elements to bring down the unladen weight include the introduction of the electric-power-assisted steering (EPAS) – another first – plus the use of low-rolling resistance tyres as well as a few aerodynamic body tweaks. Auto Start/Stop technology brings additional fuel savings in the urban environment and drivers can also use the EcoGuide module, which uses GPS positioning to provide predictive advice on how to achieve the best fuel efficiency on the road or streets ahead. While on the operating end, new driver assistance tech and advanced new connectivity features make working days less stressful for operators. As part of the strategy to expand connectivity across its entire commercial vehicle product line-up, FordPass Connect on-board modem technology will enable fleet operators to optimise running costs through programmes and systems such as Ford Telematics and Ford Data Services products, while FordPass Pro app is specifically designed to support smaller firms and owner drivers to maximise their productivity.

At the special presentation to the IVOTY jury, Helmut Reder, Global Vehicle Programme Director, Ford Transit, explained how this had been achieved, starting with fitting the first aluminium bonnet on a commercial vehicle in Europe, together with a composite bulkhead. Here, 5.4 kg has been saved. Even with the installation of a 48-volt hybrid (mHEV) system, the overall kerb

Thanks to the revised 2.0 litre EcoBlue Euro 6D temp diesel, the new Transit driveline is between 3-7% more fuel efficient and delivers CO2 emission from 156 g/km. A more powerful 185PS/415Nm variant and new 10-speed automatic transmission on the RWD variant is now on the spec sheet. Ford has developed a segment first with the 48 V Mild-hybrid option, which further improves upon the 2.0 litre EcoBlue fuel efficiency by up to an additional 8% in Stop/Start application, while delivering CO2 emissions from 144 g/km. It is important to note that at no time does the mHEV enter electric mode, only as the electric motor FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Autumn 2019


fitted has been installed to enhance the powertrain in order to decrease overall fuel consumption. Other power offerings from this EcoBlue engine range include 105/130/170 PS. Economy and emissions (sample comparison figures) Ford Transit

2.0-litre 105 PS EcoBlue, 6-speed manual 2.0-litre 130 PS EcoBlue Hybrid, 6-speed manual

CO2 NEDC CO2 MPAS (g/km) From 156

Fuel consumption WLTP Low-High (mpg/km.l) 26.4-39.2 (10.70-7.21 l/100km)

From 144

21.4-37.2 (13.20-7.59 l/100km)

New Ford Transit sports a revised grille design and restyled lower bumper line. Inside, the all-new interior layout adds to driver comfort with more practicality. Connectivity can be obtained by the latest Ford SYNC3 easy-to-use infotainment at one’s fingertips on the 8” touchscreen. Also, for the first time, Transit drivers will be able to choose from Selectable Drive Modes to match driving performance to conditions: Eco Mode, Slippery Mode, Mud/Rut Mode for all-wheel-drive models and Tow/Haul Mode for smooth power delivery when towing large trailers or boats that weigh more than the vehicle kerb weight. Towing capacity is rated at 3.5 tonnes. A comprehensive range of advanced driving assistance technologies have also been introduced to help reduce stress and tiredness, and to help avoid or mitigate the impact of collisions. These include: • Blind Spot Information System with Trailer Tow system • Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control • Enhanced Lane-Keeping System • Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection

Ford’s commanding presence in Light Commercial Vehicle marketplace and as the number one commercial brand in Europe will gain strength with the arrival of the Transit 2-tonne EcoBlue mHEV Hybrid together with the Transit Custom EcoBlue Hybrid and PHEV plug-in Hybrids, the latter which will provide zeroemission electric power in urban areas, and enable drivers to make longer journeys with no range anxiety. And being more customer and driver focused than ever before, Ford is certainly not resting on its laurels. “The iconic Ford Transit raises the bar once again to boost productivity for businesses, delivering increased payload, improved fuel efficiency and advanced connectivity that will give companies of all sizes the tools to maximise operational efficiency. Ford is also setting the pace in electrification, with segment-first mild-hybrid powertrains,” commented Michael at the event. Full details on the Ford Transit Custom Hybrids will feature in the next edition.

Helmut Reder, Global Vehicle Programme Director, Ford Transit

Next year will see the addition of a new 10-speed automatic transmission on all rear wheel drive Transits, with all models getting a power sliding side door option. A new all-electric Transit will join the company’s line-up of electrified commercial vehicles in 2021. Designed to deliver pure-electric propulsion, the new van will contribute to cleaner, quieter towns and cities, and reduced running costs for businesses and operators alike. Text & Photos: Jarlath Sweeney –


London EV Company (LEVC) debuts its electric Van


he new LCV light commercial vehicle from leading green mobility solutions producer, London EV Company, has made its European debut at an exclusive preview event in Frankfurt, Germany. Th ink London, think Black Taxi – now consider its offshoot – a zero-emission van, created to meet rapidly increasing European demand for green, electrified commercial transport. The London EV Company (LEVC) van draws on more than 70 years of knowledge from the same company that manufactures the world’s only purpose-built range extended electric taxi. Premiered at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, it is based on the same architecture and proven e-City range extender technology as LEVC’s TX Taxi, of which 2,500 units have been sold. Th is second vehicle from LEVC will give European operators an electric range of 129km (80 miles) and a combined petrol and EV range of 607km (377 miles). Targeting those who travel around 161km (100 miles) a day, LEVC’s LCV will offer ‘distribution to door’ – not just last mile – providing the link between out of town depots and city centres, capable of collecting goods outside of a major city in range extender mode, before switching to EV mode in an urban

ultra-low emissions zone. Th is is currently a sector of the market dominated by one tonne medium-sized diesel vans. LEVC’s success with the TX Taxi has proven that taxi drivers have become converts of green logistics, with huge benefits in terms of cost savings, while for commercial vehicle operators the e-City range extender technology takes away range anxiety once and for all. LEVC manufactures the world’s only purpose-built, range extended electric taxi. Since 2014, its parent company GEELY has invested £500m in a production facility in Ansty, Coventry, where the new LCV will be made alongside the TX next year.

World premiere of the Mercedes-Benz EQV


ith the EQV, Mercedes-Benz has combined emission-free mobility with impressive driving performance, maximum functionality and stylish design. Presented to the public at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, technical highlights of the Mercedes-Benz Vans’ vehicle include a range of up to 405 kilometres and rapid charging to enable a range of 100 kilometres within just fi fteen minutes. The EQV features a compact electric drivetrain (eATS) on the front axle with an output of 150 kW. The electric motor, the transmission with fi xed transmission ratios, the cooling system and the power electronics form a compact and integral unit. Energy is supplied by a lithium-ion battery. Thanks to a capacity of 100 kWh, a maximum range of up to 400 kilometres is realistic. And with a top speed of 160 km/h, it ensures superior driving pleasure even out of town. The concept vehicle can be conveniently charged at home using a 11kW Mercedes- Benz wall box or a regular household plug socket. By installing the battery in the vehicle’s underfloor, the entire interior space is available without restriction. Customers can also choose between two different wheelbases. As a member of the Mercedes-Benz EQ family, the EQV also benefits from the comprehensive scope of the technology brand’s electro-mobility ecosystem. This starts with comprehensive advice and a range of services, right up to the charging infrastructure and even a modified navigation system which takes into account the charge level of the battery. There will also be apps which, for example, enable control of the pre-entry climate control or cash-less payments at public charging stations. Mercedes me FLEETVAN&UTILITY | Autumn 2019

Charge also allows access to the quick-charging stations of the pan-European network IONITY. Especially over long distances, the short charging times make for a pleasant journey. By 2020 IONITY will construct and operate around 400 quick-charging stations along the main traffic arteries in Europe. IONITY was founded in November 2017 as a joint venture by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche. In the elegantly designed cockpit, the focus is on uncomplicated and intuitive operation. The basis of the interaction between man and machine is formed by the MBUX infotainment system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) which unites a voice control system with innovative connectivity features. As a series-produced vehicle, the EQV is fully integrated into the production operations of the plant in Vitoria in northern Spain, where the V-Class and Mercedes-Benz Vito are also made. Text & Photos: Rob Van Dieten –


Engaging Connectivity


Networking is an investment in your business!



Attend the Fleet Transport Awards & Networking Event and Yield great results for years to come... your road to success

Thursday 10 October 2019, Citywest Hotel, Dublin

Profile for Fleet Transport

Fleet Van Autumn 2019  

4 News • Update on Pick-up market • UPS works with TEVVA on hybrids • Toyota ready to serve Irish Army • Carvin’s new Ford double Connect(io...

Fleet Van Autumn 2019  

4 News • Update on Pick-up market • UPS works with TEVVA on hybrids • Toyota ready to serve Irish Army • Carvin’s new Ford double Connect(io...