Fleet News

Volvo Canters into light truck market

VOLVO is moving into the light truck market with more than a little help from Mitsubishi. The manufacturer's established truck division is expanding into the smaller end of the market by signing a distribution deal to sell Mitsubishi's Canter range in Britain, France and Italy.

Volvo's move signifies an extension of its strategic co-operation with Mitsubishi, which has already spawned the Nedcar factory in Holland, where the Volvo S40 and V40 and Mitsubishi Carisma cars are built. Volvo's 90-strong network of truck outlets will be taking on sales and service for the three-vehicle range, which comprises 3.5-, 6.3- and 7.5-tonne trucks - all of which will remain badged as Mitsubishis.

The 3.5-tonner is very definitely a light truck as opposed to a large van, with a chassis cab design and double rear axle. Other truck-like features include a tilt-cab, exhaust brake and independently sprung driver's seat. The timing of Volvo's move coincides with mounting speculation about possible Government moves to restrict the operation of HGVs in town centres in its forthcoming transport white paper. Dealers are in the process of recruiting specialised light truck sales and service personnel and training existing staff across the network.

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