Fleet News

Volkswagen goes in for the sales kill

GERMAN van manufacturer Volkswagen had a record year in 2006, raising its sales by 12% and snatching the coveted third place in the van sales chart from rival Citroën.

But Volkswagen chiefs spotted a hole in the firm’s sales pitch – a lack of ‘off-the-shelf’ conversions – and they have swiftly moved to plug it with the launch of a new ‘Engineered to go’ range.

Bespoke conversions are already available but Robert Hazelwood, Volkswagen’s director of commercial vehicles, told Fleet Van: ‘We believe an off-the-peg range is required. Two thirds of all light commercial vehicles have some kind of conversion and we felt we were missing out on a sizeable opportunity.’

The firm has teamed up with two conversion specialists – Boalloy and Ingimex – to produce three new Crafter models, a dropside, tipper and Luton body.

These new models are available on the CR35 body with single or double-cabs (Luton body single only).

Power outputs from 88bhp to 162bhp can be specified and a Shiftmatic option is available on the 109bhp unit. All engines are 2.5-litre common rail diesel units.

Mr Hazelwood added: ‘As part of our commitment to be serious about vans, we are dedicated to identifying the needs of commercial vehicle operators and providing them with a service they expect and deserve from the UK’s number one CV importer.’

Prices range from £20,135 to £30,971 ex-VAT and all carry a three-year warranty. Meanwhile, Volkswagen is also planning to extend its network of dedicated van centres. There are 67 at present and there will soon be a total of 85, meaning that 90% of the country is no more than 45 minutes drive away from a centre.

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