18 April 2019
This week, Transport News Brief asked a number of senior figures from across the industry to look forward and share the things that their brands are working towards during the year ahead.
Robert Grozdanovski, Managing Director, Volvo Trucks UK and Ireland, sees much to celebrate for the brand, its dealers and their customers over the weeks and months ahead.
Robert said, “Despite the uncertainty, 2019 will largely be business as usual for Volvo Trucks and its dealer network in the UK and Ireland.
“There are several products that we have launched over the past 12 months that are now coming on stream that will benefit our customers during 2019 and beyond.”
Among the most exciting developments at Volvo Trucks is the recently-launched Volvo FH with I-Save option featuring the new D13TC Euro VI Step D engine and new, state-of-the-art pistons with a patented wave-shaped crown that improves combustion and increases efficiency by guiding heat and energy to the centre of each cylinder.
“Every aspect of I-Save is tailored to suit long-haul operators, especially those that typically drive more than 160,000 km per year, as the engine now produces up to an additional 300Nm of extra torque.
“This means less acceleration and fuel is needed to keep a steady speed in motorway traffic. So, the longer they drive, the more they can potentially save with an engine which delivers a highly fuel-efficient and smooth driving experience.”
The brand is also excited about its new long-haul fuel-saving tech, the introduction of a new generation of fuel-efficient rear axles and the arrival of its revolutionary external steering interface, EXSTER.
Robert added, “Finally, with the launch of our FL and FE electric chassis coming at a time of London’s ULEZ and various proposed Clean Air Zones, together with the increasing network of charging points, we think that there is a pretty strong business case for going electric this year!”
For Mike Belk, Managing Director at Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK, the recent launch of the new Actros and the impact it will have in market is one of the most exciting things happening this year.
He said, “The new Actros is a truly remarkable vehicle which, among its other achievements, heralds the demise of conventional driving mirrors and replaces them with safer and more aerodynamically efficient camera-based systems.
“Our MirrorCam system – available on the Actros – is a hugely impressive piece of technology and has contributed to the new truck being hailed as a ‘total game-changer’.”
MirrorCam improves road safety by giving drivers greater visibility both in front of the vehicle and to the rear, greatly reducing blindspots. Offering improved aerodynamics, the system can help the brand’s new Predictive Powertrain Control system improve fuel efficiency by between 3-5%.
Meanwhile, Ford of Britain Managing Director, Andy Barratt, pointed to the brand’s sales success in the first quarter of 2019 as a reason for positivity.
Now in its 54th consecutive year as the number one brand for commercial vehicle sales, Ford enjoyed its best-ever month for commercial vehicles sales in the UK in March, with more than 24,000 registrations.
The Fiesta van, Transit Courier, Transit Custom, Tourneo Custom and Transit 2.0-tonne, were all number one in their respective segments.
Andy expects strong sales to continue in 2019 and, such is the brand’s optimism, that it has just extended its stand space to create its biggest ever presence at the CV Show later this month.
The additional space will be used to demonstrate Transit’s semi-autonomous parking feature.
“Ford had a good start to the year, especially in higher value market segments, such as commercial vehicles sales, and despite uncertainty, we continue to expect a strong sales year for Ford in the UK,” said Andy.
He continued, “I want to thank our customers for again putting their trust in the Ford commercial vehicle range. Our CV sales success has already provided us with a great base to build upon in 2019, and with Transit we are ready to reach further new heights this year.”