Vauxhall has released a new range of accessories for its two latest models, Combo Life MPV and Combo Cargo van. From bike carriers and child seats to roof boxes and rear parking assistants, the stylish and practical equipment can help families and business users get the most out of their vehicle.
British commercial vehicle manufacturing grew 8.5% in 2018, with 84,888 units leaving production lines, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The increase in output follows weaker performances in 2016 and 2017, while strong market incentives ahead of model changes also played a part in boosting output.
Almost one in 10 (9%) of motorists aged between 45 and 54 believe that they no longer need a car according to a new study from automotive data experts, HPI.
A survey by Venson Automotive Solutions reveals that one in three (33%) company car drivers would not report minor damage to their employer – a figure which has almost doubled since 2015 when the same question was asked of company car drivers (17.5%).
Breakdown cover specialist GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers to put safety first on motorway journeys, by always using the ‘two second rule’. This, says GEM, will ensure you keep a safe space in front of you and reduces the risk of ‘rear-ending’ the vehicle in front.
Free2Move Lease,introduces Citroën Ready to Run and Peugeot Built for Business light commercial vehicle conversions ranges
Free2Move Lease, the PSA Group’s connected finance and leasing company has introduced the Citroën Ready to Run and Peugeot Built for Business light commercial vehicle conversions ranges to the Free2Move Lease LCV finance lease portfolio.
The Citroën Ready to Run range is based on the Citroën Relay chassis and covers a range of popular LCV conversions. Among the models available from Free2Move Lease are the Ready to Run Tipper conversion, based on the Relay L2 single-cab chassis, offering a payload of up to 1,222kg, the heavy-duty Relay 35 L4 Luton chassis, offering up to 20m3 of load volume and a payload of up to 979kg and the Relay Curtainside, based on the Relay 35 heavy-duty L4 chassis, offering a load volume of up to 20m3 and payload of up to 879kg. All models are powered by the BlueHDi 160 engine with six-speed manual gearbox. These models are available for a monthly rental from £330 (ex-VAT). Terms and conditions apply.
Volkswagen has completely overhauled its natural gas models and is equipping its Polo and Golf TGI2) with a third natural gas tank. This allows the Polo TGI1) to now travel up to 60 kilometres further in pure CNG mode than its predecessor. The gain in range in the Golf TGI is up to 80 kilometres. In the Golf, a new 1.5 litre TGI four-cylinder engine with 96 kW / 130 PS ensures that none of the driving pleasure is lost.
Driving with natural gas significantly reduces CO2 emissions because the combustion of CNG generally produces less CO2. An even better CO2 balance can be achieved by fuelling with biomethane or e-gas.
Biomethane is extracted from plant residues; e-gas is produced from surplus green energy (power-to-gas), which are added to the fuels.
The UK trade body for the vehicle rental and leasing industry is urging drivers to think ahead about what documentation is needed when they take a vehicle abroad.
The advice from the BVRLA comes on the day that the government has published further guidance on International Driving Permits and Green Cards, as part of its no-deal-Brexit preparations.
BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “We must do all we can to protect drivers from inadvertently falling foul of the rules, by making sure that they are kept well-informed about what documentation is required when taking a vehicle abroad.
“We are reminding drivers of leased and rented vehicles of their obligation to get a VE103 certificate from their hire or lease company before taking their vehicle overseas. It is essential documentation that our members provide customers with to prove that they have permission to drive the vehicle. Without it, they can be subject to delays at the border, or in the worst instance, have their vehicle impounded.”
From today, 2,500 Post Office branches will be selling International Driving Permits (IDP). Previously only 65 branches provided this service. Depending upon the outcome of EU-Exit negotiations, UK citizens may need to carry an IDP as well as their UK driving licence when driving on the continent.
Drivers can find out more about the VE103 on the BVRLA website and should visit the DVLA or Gov.uk websites to check the latest guidance on documents required when driving abroad.
Sticking to the speed limit could be easier than ever thanks to new technology in Google Maps. Google has confirmed it will soon be rolling out an update to its Maps app that informs motorists of the speed limit for the road they’re travelling on as well as alert them of any speed camera positions.
Fronting: know the risks- a recent case shows need for operators and Transport Managers to be vigilant
News from the Office of The Traffic Commissioner
In 2017/18, 110 operators and 144 transport managers were disqualified by traffic commissioners.
Those orders were made to stop individuals overseeing vehicle operations for a certain period of time - and in the worst cases indefinitely.
ICCT report finds narrowing of gap between stated and 'real world' fuel economy - but gap is still wide
For the first time in years, the average gap between official fuel consumption figures and actual fuel use for new cars in the EU in 2017 did not increase according to an updated analysis by the ICCT. However, the gap only stabilised at 39 percent. The ICCT says that the discrepancy between official measurements of vehicle efficiency and actual performance of new cars in everyday driving has more than quadrupled since 2001.
Jon Lawes, Managing Director, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions reacts to introduction of HGV Road User Levy
It’s right for the Government to implement measures aimed at improving air quality by reducing harmful nitrogen oxide emissions. However, transforming HGV fleets away from diesel, so they’re using alternative fuels and adopting cleaner air technologies, is a step-change that can’t be achieved overnight.
“There is currently no approved Euro VI retrofit option for hauliers and the impact of the HGV levy, combined with incoming clean air zones (CAZs), is putting pressure on haulage and goods companies throughout the UK. As one of the UK’s leading providers of HGV leasing and fleet management services, Hitachi Vehicle Solutions is embracing new technology and alternative fuel strategies to address these challenges and delivering cost effective solutions for customers.
“We’ve seen a 200% increase in our compressed natural gas HGV fleet in the last 12 months which is hugely encouraging. However, the migration will take time and considered investment, so it will be a gradual evolution of HGV fleets. Once made, the benefits from cost savings to a greener and more compliant fleet will be substantial, enabling the total cost of ownership model to work for both the customer, and indeed the environment.”
The AA has commissioned and installed a training rig for hybrid vehicles to increase the number of vans and cars fixed by technicians at the roadside. The unit is the first of its kind to be available commercially and is now located alongside the AA’s new customer experience centre in Oldbury, West Midlands.
Fleet procurement is hugely complex. Price is a factor in every procurement process, but it is far from the only one in fleet - says FleetLocum
Businesses have been warned to be on their guard against a growing trend to turn to specialist procurement companies when acquiring fleet services only to find those organisations then walk away and sub-contract to typically industry suppliers.
One every nine minutes – 60,000 electric cars registered in 2018 marking 7th consecutive year of growth
UK electric car registrations continue to set records, as latest figures place the total number of new 100% electric and plug-in hybrid cars registered last year at 59,911, making it the most successful year for electric cars to date. That equates to one new electric car registration every nine minutes in the UK. The total also means the market grew by 19% compared to 2017.
Kent-based Euromotive has introduced its first electric minibus conversion, based on the LDV EV80.
The electric bus is a wheelchair-accessible eight-seater and is Euromotive’s first pure EV, with bodywork based on the high roof version of the LDV EV80, the zero-emission version of the V80 panel van
The conversion includes a sliding door entrance and underfloor cassette-style wheelchair ramp to aid access to and from the vehicle, while it also features double rear doors accessible via an integrated tail-lift, which is concealed within the back door of the bus.
The interior of the vehicle is ply-linedand trimmed in carpet over a plywood floorfor extra insulation and soundproofing, with an anti-slip flooringsurface on top.The floor tracking is tested to comply with M1 (commercial minibus) standards.
A certificate of conformity and supported documentation from tests successfully carried out at MIRA and witnessed by the VCA is supplied with each vehicle.
Vauxhall has revealed the first pictures of the new Vivaro Life, which goes on sale later this year.
Due to go in to production at Vauxhall’s manufacturing facility in Luton, Bedfordshire, the first images shown by the company are of the passenger variant of the Vivaro van.
Vauxhall has confirmed that the new Vivaro will be offered in two lengths: the 4.95m “Medium” and the 5.30m “Large” – which in passenger form offer up to nine seats. The model will make its debut at the Brussels Motor Show next month.
The Vivaro is based on PSA’s EMP2 platform and will be built at the company’s Luton manufacturing plant, helping to secure 1,250 jobs. Investment in the new vehicle will increase the plant’s production capacity to 100,000 units per year.
It will feature a number of driver assistance systems; a camera and radar monitor the area in front of the vehicle, with a function that recognises pedestrians crossing the road and effect an emergency braking manoeuvre at speeds up to 18mph. Other features include Lane-Keep Assist and Drowsiness Alert, along with active cruise control. Some models will also get a head-up display.
Vauxhall says it will also offer an electric version of the van in 2021.
Volkswagen is establishing worldwide production network for electric cars: eight MEB plants on three continents by 2022
The Volkswagen brand is forging ahead consistently with its electric offensive and has now announced the first production location in North America. In future, the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee is to produce vehicles based on the modular electric toolkit MEB, a new generation of electric cars. For this purpose, Volkswagen is investing about €700 million ($800 million) in the plant. The expansion of the plant will create up to 1,000 new jobs plus additional jobs at suppliers. The first electric car from Chattanooga is to roll off the production line in 2022. Over the next few years, eight MEB plants are to be developed in Europe, North America and China. Volkswagen is building up the production capacity needed to sell more than 1 million electric cars per year by 2025.
Volkswagen and Ford are committed to exploring potential collaboration on EVs, autonomous vehicles and mobility services through alliance
Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company today announced the first formal agreements in a broad alliance that positions the companies to boost competitiveness and better serve customers in an era of rapid change in the industry.
Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed that the companies intend to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. The alliance will drive significant scale and efficiencies and enable both companies to share investments in vehicle architectures that deliver distinct capabilities and technologies.
The companies estimate the commercial van and pickup cooperation will yield improved annual pre-tax operating results, starting in 2023.
In addition, Volkswagen and Ford have signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate collaboration on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles and have started to explore opportunities. Both companies also said they were open to considering additional vehicle programs in the future. The teams will continue working through details in the coming months.
“Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society,” Hackett said. “It will not only drive significant efficiencies and help both companies improve their fitness, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility.”
Diess added: “Volkswagen and Ford will harness our collective resources, innovation capabilities and complementary market positions to even better serve millions of customers around the world. At the same time, the alliance will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness.”
The alliance, which does not entail cross-ownership between the two companies, will be governed by a joint committee. This committee will be led by Hackett and Diess and will include senior executives from both companies.
Commercial van and pickup collaboration
Ford and Volkswagen both have strong commercial van and pickup businesses around the globe, with popular nameplates such as the Ford Transit family and Ranger as well as the Volkswagen Transporter, Caddy and Amarok.
The companies’ collective light commercial vehicle volumes from 2018 totaled approximately 1.2 million units globally, which could represent the industry’s highest-volume collaboration as production scales.
Demand for both medium pickups and commercial vans is expected to grow globally in the next five years. The alliance will enable the companies to share development costs, leverage their respective manufacturing capacity, boost the capability and competitiveness of their vehicles and deliver cost efficiencies, while maintaining distinct brand characteristics.
Through the alliance, Ford will engineer and build medium-sized pickups for both companies which are expected to go to market as early as 2022. For both parties, Ford intends to engineer and build larger commercial vans for European customers, and Volkswagen intends to develop and build a city van.
A victimless crime? IAM RoadSmart backs police speeding crackdown and calls for drivers to take responsibility for their actions
The UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, has backed the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) current crackdown on speeding on our roads – saying that there is clear evidence that ‘speed kills.’
The NPCC is encouraging police forces around the country to highlight these dangers in their own areas in the two-week campaign, which started yesterday (14 January).
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Many people see speeding as a victimless crime – that is total nonsense. Many drivers think they can easily handle the speed they drive, and assume their skills are great enough to handle an emergency. We at IAM RoadSmart would like to ask those people to take a long, hard look at their attitudes and stop kidding themselves they are always safe.”
The latest annual road safety statistics shows that the contributory factor of 'exceeding speed limit' was recorded in 203 fatalities, 1,212 serious injuries, and 5,855 slight injuries.
In addition, the figures reported for those who crashed because they were ‘travelling too fast for conditions’ revealed 136 fatalities, 1,327 serious injury collisions and 4,483 slight injury collisions.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, NPCC Lead for Roads Policing, said to IAM RoadSmart: “Driving or riding at safe speeds is a key theme of the National Roads Policing Strategy and the speed campaign during January means police forces across the UK will focus on those who are travelling too fast on our roads, putting themselves and others at risk by doing so.
He added: “Respecting the speed limit is fundamental to reducing danger on our roads. Enforcing those limits falls to the police and officers will be doing just that to ensure all road users remain as safe as possible.”
Neil added that in order to reduce the number of people who become victims of speeding motorists, it is essential that all authorities work together to tackle this issue, rather than ad hoc individual measures.
He continued: “If you combine ‘too fast’ with the far bigger numbers of contributory factors attributed to ‘driver or rider error’ and ‘behaviour and experience’ then it is clear that education still has a huge role to play in reducing the toll of death and injury on our roads.”