Over the 25 year history of the International Van of the Year Award (IVOTY), only two light commercial manufacturers have achieved back-to-back victories. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles now joins that exclusive group as the new Crafter has been elected IVOTY 2017 to follow the success of the Transporter 6 in winning the award last year.
With ten new vans launched across Europe in the past year, competition was very strong from the manufacturers involved. The IVOTY jury which consists of 24 leading journalists from top commercial vehicle magazines across Europe undertook a two- phase election process with the Volkswagen Crafter scoring 101 points, just 12 points ahead of the PSA Group’s Peugeot Expert/Citroën Dispatch and Toyota Proace, with the latest Iveco Daily (Euro 6) taking the third position on the podium. The other shortlisted runners were the Ford Transit Custom Euro 6 and the all-new Hyundai H350. The voting process was independently adjudicated by the UK Road Haulage Association.
Totally newly designed and developed independently by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, the second generation Crafter features 4 base models, coming in the 3 lengths and 3 heights with front, rear or four-wheel drive traction and a choice of manual or automatic transmission. Cargo volume of up to 18.4m3 is offered from the 3.5 to 5.3 tonne GVW payload offered. New Crafter will be built at a recently constructed manufacturing facility in Września, Poland.
Commenting on the entire vehicle concept launched prior to the IAA CV Show 2016, Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles said: “The development of the new Crafter was a unique opportunity to avoid all compromises while drawing upon our decades of experience in the market segment. The new Crafter represents a fusion of product focus and customer focus. In other words, we developed this vehicle from the customer’s perspective.”
Motivations from the jury praised the new Crafter’s overall styling, comfort, smoothness, safety and superb handling and predict that it will be a market success due to its wide model and configuration offering.
The official announcement and presentation of the International Van of the Year Award 2017 was made to Dr. Scholz by Jarlath Sweeney, Chairman, International Van of the Year jury at a special ceremony at the IAA CV Show in Hannover, Germany on 21st September.
Commenting after the trophy presentation Jarlath said; “Congratulations to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles on achieving successive wins in the International Van of the Year Award with the all-new Crafter II taking up the mantle from the Transporter. It was again a very close contest and compliments must also go to the PSA Group on producing an excellent and innovative new product line for today’s light commercial vehicle marketplace. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ investment in not only developing a stand-alone product, but constructing it in a new assembly plant is noteworthy. We wish the new Crafter ever success.”