Fleet News

LPG helps Daihatsu to a record

A THIRD year of record sales for Daihatsu was helped by a record order for its liquefied petroleum gas Hijet van. Hammersmith and Fulham Council formalised a contract for 54 of the LPG microvans and one Hijet pick-up at the London Motor Show.

The vans have a £1,000 premium over the petrol-powered variant, but the Government-funded Powershift programme will provide a grant for 75% of the extra cost. Local authorities are at the forefront of the clean-fuel drive, predominantly because they use depot-based re-fuelling, so are not affected by current concerns over the lack of alternative refuelling points. The vehicles, which are being delivered in two batches, will remain on the fleet for five years and cover about 50,000 miles on the 350-vehicle council fleet, which is mainly diesel.

The purchase by the council follows a two-year trial of alternative fuel technology, which also includes the use of electric vehicles, such as the Citroen Berlingo. Total year to date sales for all Daihatsu models are 10,491, up 15% on last year's figure, with the Cuore leading the sales drive, followed by the four-wheel drive Terios and Sirion. As congestion and taxation increase for motorists, Daihatsu is expecting sales of its fuel- efficient cars to grow.

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