European Leader in Light Commercial Vehicles, Groupe PSA Launches Hat Trick of New Vans

The new Opel Combo, Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Partner vans will arrive in Ireland in early 2019.

Groupe PSA has underlined its clear intention to further strengthen its market share lead of more than 30% in the European compact van market, with the launch of a new generation of the highly-successful Peugeot Partner, Citroën Berlingo and Opel Combo vans. The new vans are the fruit of a joint collaboration between the three brands, boasting incredible levels of equipment and comfort features and developed on the Group's cutting edge EMP2 platform, to guarantee the highest quality, efficiency and performance. With more than 20% market share in 2017 (+16% y-o-y), Groupe PSA is the overall leader in light commercial vehicles sales in Europe.

Philippe Narbeburu, Senior Vice-President, Light Commercial Vehicles, said: "This new generation of vans marks a new phase in our range renewal process. Our modern line-up features efficient vehicles designed to meet our customers' demanding needs and provide a better customer experience. We hope to consolidate our leadership in Europe and continue to export our knowledge and skills to other continents."

Jarlath Sweeney, Chairman of International Van of the Year (IVOTY), described the new arrivals as, "the most significant small panel van development in years." He continued: "The new PSA Group van trio is well future proofed and packed with technological advancements to aid the driver and financially benefit owners / fleet managers."

Pictured from left to right are: David McQueen, Head of LCV Product Development, Groupe PSA; Jarlath Sweeney, Chairman of International Van of the Year; Philippe Narbeburu, Senior Vice-President, Light Commercial Vehicles, Groupe PSA.

The latest models offer customers exciting new features normally found on passenger cars to provide even greater safety (driving and manoeuvring assistance systems), comfort (e.g. adjustable lumbar support, acoustic treatment) and convenience (including increased payload, longer load space, and worksite packs boasting higher ground clearance, Grip Control and protection kits.

To cover all the needs of business users, Groupe PSA now offers a wider than ever range of body styles with various combinations of payloads (650 to 1,000KG), body lengths (4.40 and 4.75 m), numbers of seats (2, 3 and 5) and practical options such as a load-through hatch, roof flap, brighter lighting in the load zone, and 220V power outlets.

The Peugeot & Citroën models will be produced at the Mangualde (Portugal) and Vigo (Spain) plants, and for the first time, the Spanish plant will also produce an Opel vehicle. To support the sales ambitions set for the new range, a third production team in Mangualde (225 new jobs) and a fourth in Vigo (900 new jobs) were set up and became operational in April and June, respectively. These two plants in the Iberian Industrial Division, which meet Groupe PSA's highest standards in terms of performance, have made profound changes to accommodate the new vehicles.

The launch marks the 3rd generation of the Peugeot Partner and Citroën Berlingo and the 5th generation of the Opel Combo. Groupe PSA dominates the highly competitive compact van segment, with a European market share of more than 30% in 2017. The Peugeot Partner was the best-selling van in Europe in 2017 with close to 78,000 sales, followed by the Citroën Berlingo with nearly 73,000 sales. The vehicles will be sold in some 100 countries, with first orders open in Europe in September, followed by a launch in Ireland in early 2019.

Obituary – Markus Huber

A lifetime dedicated to trucks


Markus Huber, long serving Swiss member of the International Commercial Vehicle Juries - Truck of the Year & Van of the Year, passed away peacefully after Christmas at the age of 73. His truck related career started in the Swiss Military, driving a Saurer 4×4, with its unsynchronized gears, and with its brakes and the steering systems without servo. Since then much has happened, Hüebi, as he was fondly called, preferred the uncomplicated and recorded a personal best time in a truck, a 750 hp Volvo FH16. Grown up in Olten, Markus completed teacher training but took to the profession only for a short time. In the Army he was Mot-Fahrer (motor driver) at the news troupe, and while participating the repetition course in 1969, he applied for a job in Bern at the ‘Automobile Revue’, that was well respected in the industry. Hüebi speculated that his appearance in uniform was good for him, as the legendary editor-in-chief, Robert Braunschweig was a motorcyclist officer. So his career started as a journalist in the automotive sector in December 1969, and was responsible for politics and business, but then switched to technology and vehicle testing. In 1981, his commercial vehicle editor Max Fehlmann retired, the civilian truck time for Hüebi started, although he still had to take a few driving lessons, because his Military driver's license was not yet accepted for civilian use. Then trucks, vans and buses became part of his daily business and Markus became facinated on the ongoing technical developments. In 1991 he became a member of the jury "International Truck of the Year„ and soon joined the Van of the Year jury, representing Switzerland and in recent years retired from both adjudication panels.

May he Rest In Peace

Iveco Daily Blue Power Wins International Van of the Year 2018

iveco daily

Iveco Daily Blue Power

In electing the Daily Blue Power as International Van of the Year 2018, much praise was directed towards Iveco on producing a new range of highly sustainable light commercials with a choice of powertrains that reduce operators environmental impact. With the Iveco Daily Blue Power, the Italian brand offers a choice of efficient viable power solutions such as the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) 2.3 litre diesel Euro 6 diesel, a 3.0 litre Natural (Gas) Power with Hi-Matic automated transmission and an improved electric version.

The 25-member jury panel consisting of Light Commercial Vehicle magazine editors and journalists collectively awarded the Iveco Daily Blue Power 113 points with the new Ford transit Custom as runner-up receiving 79 points. The other podium place went to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles with its latest Gas powered Caddy TGI model.

Pierre Lahutte

Jarlath Sweeney and Pierre Lahutte

Five brands were in contention for this prestigious annual prize, which also included the MAN TGE and Renault Kangoo Z.E.33. The announcement and presentation of a newly designed trophy was made at a Gala Banquet held in association with SOLUTRANS 2017 a Lyon, France on Wednesday 22 November and attended by 1,500 representatives from the European commercial vehicle industry.


A delighted Iveco Brand President Pierre Lahutte commented on receiving the award: “In the year of its 40th anniversary, the Daily has been elected as the “International Van of the Year” for the third time. Beyond the acclaimed and successful product, this award recognizes the tremendous efforts made by IVECO to decisively contribute to the battle for clean air in our cities and CO2emission reductions. Daily Blue Power in its electric, natural gas and most advanced diesel versions, is the first and only vehicle to offer three choices that anticipate regulations increasingly impacting access to urban centers. This secures customers’ investment and gives them the competitive advantage they need to develop their sustainable businesses.”

“Congratulations to Iveco on the impressive development achievements with the Daily Blue Power. This is the third occasion that the Iveco Daily has won this award since its establishment in 1992, tasting victory in 2000 and more recently in 2015,” added Jarlath Sweeney, Chairman, International Van of the Year Jury.

Featured below is a selection of voting motivations by jury members on electing the Iveco Daily Blue Power as the International Van of the Year 2018:
“Iveco has always been on the forefront of sustainability in the LCV segment. The new Daily Blue Power range confirms this position. Whether it is a diesel or Natural Gas (CNG) powered or an electrically driven vehicle, Iveco has the sustainable vehicles the market is asking for. The Daily with the CNG engine and Hi-Matic transmission, especially, is wonderful to drive.”

“Iveco Daily Blue Power is honoured for its technical innovation – presenting the new Real Driving Emission diesel engine now - three years ahead of the EU’s RDE regulation which will be mandatory for vans - far ahead of any competitor.

Even though it’s cleaner than the Daily 2.3 litre version today, it’s seven percent more economical. The reason is among others, that the engine is lighter and that it runs on SCR only - like the Iveco trucks.”

“The Iveco Daily’s Blue Power solutions is like the chocolate ‘Kinder Egg’ – with three novelties at one time! Apart from the RDE diesel, Iveco presents an improved electric version with up to five tonne total weight and 200 km driving range with impressive torque and acceleration as well. On top of it all, Iveco has a better CNG version now with 8-speed ZF Hi-Matic automated gearbox. According to sister brand supplier, Fiat Powertrain Technologies, the CNG version has a 35 percent better TCO than the diesel versions.”

“The Daily Blue Power range puts together the main and viable solutions to reduce the environmental impact of LCVs in urban and suburban operations. Electric, Natural Gas and SCR are all proven technologies developed by Iveco. The Italian manufacturer brings into its LCVs the typical evolution modes of the sector, based on a constant and frequent refinement.”

Volkswagen Amarok V6 picks up International Pick-up Award 2018

vw amarok

Volkswagen Amarok

By offering the widest selection of V6 diesel engines and model variants together with a number of technical advancements, with the latest generation Amarok, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles was honoured with the International Pick-up Award 2018 at a special Gala ceremony held during Solutrans 2017, in Lyon, France.

Following an extensive group test drive programme held over three days in Romania at the beginning of November, the Amarok V6 emerged overall winner as voted by members of the International Van of the Year Jury.

Dr. Eckhard Scholz

Jarlath Sweeney and Eckhard Scholz

The fourth running of the biennial International Award for 1-tonne Pick-up trucks had established players - the Toyota Hilux & Volkswagen Amarok, up against two newcomers, the Renault Alaskan & Mercedes-Benz X-Class.


“Jury members adjudged the Amarok V6 to be the best all-rounder in a very close-run competition. The latest Volkswagen Amarok V6 scored 56 points with its new German rival, the all-new Mercedes-Benz X-Class achieving 50 marks with the current Toyota Hilux not too far behind on 41 points. Marks were awarded based on powertrain efficiencies, load volume and capability, driver and passenger comfort and safety aspects, as well as low total cost of operation from a business point of view,” explained Jarlath Sweeney, Chairman, International Van of the Year Jury.

Having received this prestigious accolade on its inaugural presentation for 2010, Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles was very pleased with the continued success of the Amarok on an International scale: “We are grateful for the IPUA 2018 award and feel honored by the verdict of the jury of international experts. With the Amarok, we listened to the customer and put more power, torque, and usability in all terrains rather than luxury and lifestyle. I promise, we will continue to provide best solutions for our customers to make their business better. Thank you for your confidence.”

Featured below is a selection of voting motivations by jury members on electing the Volkswagen Amarok V6 as the winner of the International Pick-up Award 2018:
“The Volkswagen Amarok is the epitome of the ‘work hard, play hard’ theme that is becoming common place in the Pick-up segment. With a clean-cut design, great fit and finish, a spacious cab with modern layout, it is full of amenities and a layout that enhances well-being. The ergoComfort seats are extremely comfortable and supportive, while the 8-speed automatic is unique in the class, as is the 3.0 litre V6. Both on tarmac and off-road the driveline excels, and the refinement and elasticity of the engine are a new ethos for the segment.”

“Power is not a problem with the Volkswagen Amarok V6, with its broad selection of 3.0 litre TDIs ranging from 120 to 190 kW to fulfill the power and torque wishes for all costumers.”

“Amarok provides the most comfortable seats compared with the competitors – and the roomiest cabin. It’s a top pedigree workhorse.”