The commercial vehicle market might have been distorted by the arrival of the Euro 6 legislation, but it promises a feast of new truck technology at the CV Show.
Truck manufacturers go into the CV Show knowing that 2014 is going to be a tough year in the wake of the introduction of Euro 6 legislation. The market hit a five-year high in 2013 as buyers pulled forward their purchasing plans while they could still buy Euro 5 vehicles.
Some 10,715 trucks over six tonnes were registered in December 2013 compared with 3,183 in December 2012. For the full year, the market was up 28 per cent on 2012 at 49,430. The situation was very different in February with the market down 32.8 per cent for the first two months of the year.
Of course, commercial vehicle manufacturers are getting used to this kind of market volatility – after all we are now on the sixth iteration of this EU environmental legislation.
Nevertheless, they will be hoping that the market resumes some kind of normality as soon as possible. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which compiles the statistics on vehicle registrations, noted that while the Euro-6-induced dip in truck volumes continued in February, the rate of decline slowed from January’s 37 per cent decline.
The biggest impact has been at the heavy end of the market. Artic registrations were down 41.3 per cent in the first two months of the year. Rigids over 16 tonne were also down 41 per cent.
The fall was only 26.3 per cent for rigids between 6 and 16 tonnes, while the market for vehicles between 3.5 and 6 tonnes was down only 6 per cent.
And the van market continues to perform strongly – it was up 18.5 per cent for the first two months of 2014.
The surprise beneficiary of all this, so far at least, has been Renault Trucks. Its registrations in the first two months are double last year’s at 490 – and that makes it market leader ahead of DAF in the over 6 tonne category. In fact, Renault is the only manufacturer that has not reported a decline in the early part of the year.
Renault Trucks is returning to the 2014 Commercial Vehicle Show, after a five-year absence.
“Market conditions are improving and it’s a great opportunity to exhibit to the whole market,” says Gino Costa, managing director of Renault Trucks UK. Exhibits on the Renault Trucks’ stand will include two Range T tractor units – a 6×2 owner operator specification and a 4×2 fleet specification; two Range D distribution chassis at 12 tonnes and 26 tonnes; an 8×4 Range C construction chassis and a Renault Master. While Renault is making its show come-back, three manufacturers, DAF, Scania and Volvo (Renault’s sister company), have decided that this year’s CV show is not for them.
Nevertheless, there will be plenty of innovative trucks on display. Iveco, for example, recently launched the new Eurocargo Euro 6 truck, which targets the distribution market which uses Iveco’s high-efficiency SCR engine technology to meet the new emissions standard.
The manufacturer says HI-eSCR technology is lighter and more fuel efficient than systems that require EGR and active particulate filters.
Iveco’s Stralis tractor won the International Truck of the Year award for 2013 using the HI-eSCR system. TÜV, the European technical certification centre, recently certified that there is a 2.33 per cent reduction in fuel consumption when using the HI-eSCR system.
The distribution market is a critical one for Iveco. Speaking at the UK launch, Claudio Zanframundo, managing director of Iveco UK and Ireland, said: “Retail operators remain the main pillars of the nation’s transport and distribution systems, and success with them confirms the popularity of the product where it really matters.” The new range runs from 6 to 19 tonnes with engines from 160 o 320 hp and 13 transmission options. In total there are 11,000 combinations to cover different applications from urban distribution to industrial transport.
Iveco argues that the SCR-only system maximises combustion efficiency and minimises particulate matter production without the use of exhaust gas recirculation. This in turn minimises fuel consumption and maximises performance.
MAN will present a comprehensive line-up of Euro 6-powered trucks at this CV Show. It is putting the accent on total cost of operation (TCO), and offering operators the opportunity to calculate their own TCO. MAN’s Euro 6 offering debuted in Birmingham last year, and 2014’s Show will see a selection from its complete range of vehicles covering key weight ranges, including a 7.5 tonne TGL, an 18 tonne TGM, a TGS 8×4 tipper chassis and two flagship TGX 6×2 tractor units.
Transdek will be showing a new Double Deck Urban Eco Trailer (DUET) designed to improve transport efficiencies on last-mile deliveries to urban centres, reflecting the re-emergence of smaller format local convenience stores. The company, which is best known for the design and manufacture of loading bay equipment and loading systems, has designed the trailer specifically to carry high load volumes in the urban environment. It offers a load footprint 200 per cent that of a typical 18-tonne rigid, with cost and emissions savings of up to 50 per cent for city-centre retail deliveries. It is 10.6 metres long and between 4m and 4.3m high depending on customers’ requirements. Payload is 22-tonnes compared to 9-tonnes for a typical 18-tonne rigid. To achieve optimum loading efficiency at distribution centres, the DUET is also fitted with low-profile double deck lifts. Transdek says full loading can be achieved in 45 minutes.
Mercedes-Benz goes into the CV Show with aggressive growth targets for its business globally. Plans call for sales at Daimler Trucks to exceed 500,000 units in 2015 and reach 700,000 units in 2020. Sales for full-year 2013 rose by 5 per cent to some 484,200 vehicles. Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the Daimler board of management with responsibility for trucks and buses, expects general economic conditions to have a slightly positive effect on global truck markets in 2014.
Cartwright will be showcasing a new design trailer with a fully galvanised chassis. The trailer also features Magnelis bearers and side raves which are up to ten times more resistant to corrosion than a traditional galvanised bearer which means a longer life span and improved cosmetic appearance.
GRAY & ADAMS
Dominating the Gray & Adams stand in the Cool Pavilion will be a 44-pallet lifting-deck trailer supplied to Reed Boardall, along with an 18-tonne Mercedes-Benz Axor rigid with radically-styled Dolphin body in the livery of Chiltern Cold Storage.
Van market shows its strength
The strength of the van market means that there will be a strong showing from the major manufacturers in this sector. Vauxhall is returning, and commercial vehicle brand manager Steve Bryant, said: “As Britain’s biggest van manufacturer, Vauxhall is delighted to be back at the UK’s largest Commercial Vehicle Show. Vauxhall has always been a big supporter of the CV Show and is very much looking forward to returning to Birmingham in 2014”.
Citroen is unveiling its new Relay at the CV Show, and Ford is expected to show the latest four additions to the Transit family.
The standard Transit, as well as Courier, Connect, and Custom variants will all be displayed.
Mark Ovenden, Ford Britain chairman and managing director, said: “Ford of Britain is investing heavily in its CV sales and aftercare infrastructure in the UK, launching 100 dedicated Transit Centres over the next 12 months.”
Nissan launched its electric van, the e-NV200, at the Geneva Motor Show last month and plans to put it on sale in Europe in June.
The e-NV200’s electric drivetrain, is based on that used in the Nissan LEAF and has a range of just over 100 miles. The LCV version still has a cargo volume of 4.2 cubic metres and can carry two standard Euro pallets.
FIAT Professional will be at the show following a strong 2013, with sales up 70 per cent on 2012.
Director Sebastiano Fedrigo said: “We have responded to the fierce competition in the market by listening to our customers and offering more derivatives, more technologies, improved efficiency, lower running costs and unbeatable customer service.”