For all those involved in the van industry, the IAA Show tops the list as the single most important global exhibition. It is Europe’s, and one of the world’s, largest commercial vehicle shows, with over a quarter of a million visitors and almost 2,000 exhibitors. As ever, Parkers was on hand to keep you up to date with all the latest from the 2014 IAA Show.
A few eyebrows were raised at the cloth-covered mystery vehicle on the Fiat stand, but many of our Facebook and Twitter followers were able to guess that it was the face-lifted Doblo Cargo. Fiat’s small panel van, which is manufactured in Turkey by Tofas, was launched in 2010 and is also sold with a Vauxhall badge on the nose.
The polarising front end design has been replaced by a more stylish and contemporary look, which will no doubt help sales, while the engines have been tweaked to make them more responsive and fuel efficient. The upgraded dashboard on show to the visitors at Hannover, however, will not be included on right-hand drive models.
For the first IAA Show in a while, there were no new models to be seen on the Ford stand. But that’s not to say there were no new products; an extra-long wheelbase (L5) dropside and a double-cab dropside.
“We’ve been speaking to a number of our fleets and these are two products that have raised a lot of interest”, explains Dave Petts, Product Manager for the Ford Transit. “It makes a lot of sense too, considering the construction industry is back on its feet and performing well”.
The L5 dropside offers a load length of 5.2 metres, while the double-cab can accommodate up to seven workers. Both bodies are expected to be built by Hampshire-based VFS Commercial Vehicle Converters.
A highlight of the show for many was the official unveiling of the new H350 panel van from Hyundai. It is the first time that the South Korean manufacturer has competed in the heavy duty van market in Europe, a prospect that could make a number of competitors a little hot under the collar.
The H350 is powered by the same 2.5-litre common-rail diesel engine that features in the iLoad, but Hyundai will have to seriously upgrade its CV dealer network if it hopes to penetrate the UK van market.
The Daily, the only van offered by Iveco, was announced as the 2015 International Van of the Year by the jury at the IAA Show; something it hasn’t achieved for 15 years. The all new Daily was praised for its improved ride and handling, which was previously disappointing at best, better payload, increased fuel efficiency and larger load volumes.
An array of Daily variants, from dropsides to minibuses, was on display on the Iveco stand to demonstrate the versatility of the new panel van. The new panel van is likely to hit dealerships early next year, but is available to order on the website now.
MB has always been a dominant force at the IAA, and this year was no exception. The Silver Star was again allocated the whole of Hall 14 and 15 to showcase its range of new vans, trucks and buses. The all-new Vito was the ‘star of the show’ on its first public unveil ahead of the first drive in two weeks’ time.
This is the second complete overhaul of the Vito since its introduction in 1996 and along with increased dimensions and upgraded interior it also receives a new engine. The 1.6 turbo-diesel, which also features in the new Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro, comes with a choice of either a 87bhp or 112bhp power output, while the veteran 2.1 turbo-diesel offers outputs of between 134bhp and 187bhp.
Taking centre stage on the Nissan stand was the enV200 VIP concept, a prestige passenger carrying version of the recently launched electric van. The concept vehicle features a 21.5-inch DSP monitor, which can display movies or other images from a passenger’s digital device, such as a smart phone, tablet, or computer, 670mm worth of legroom, premium leather trim and a high resolution reversing camera.
The long-in-the-tooth Navara pickup has been slightly updated for the 2015 model year. It receives Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Nissan’s name for the soon-to-be-compulsory ESP, and 17 inch alloy wheels, while SE buyers now benefit from automatic air conditioning and a CD player with Bluetooth connectivity amongst other things. Prices have yet to be announced.
As well as Mercedes-Benz, the IAA Show in Hannover is home territory for Volkswagen, who shared Hall 12 with sister manufacturer MAN Trucks. The most interesting exhibit was the Tristar, a T5 replica of the ‘original’ Tristar for the late 80’s, which combines remarkable off-road attributes with practical load carrying capabilities.
Due to be announced fairly soon is the T6, and the Tristar concept is believed to be hinting at the upcoming model’s styling. If true, the overall design will not have changed much, which is hardly surprising since the T5 is still selling in considerable numbers across the world.