Coaches up, buses down

SMMT data show big coaches up 52.0% in September and 9.5% over the year to date, but this is not enough to balance falling bus and minibus numbers.  Buses dropped 16.1% in September and 38.9% for year to date while minibuses, the 3.5 to 5.0 tonne ones, slid 1.6% in the month.  The performance by coach sector “failed to halt” the decline in the UK’s bus and coach registrations according to Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.  Though coach registrations rose in all but two months of 2010, September’s is the result of “structural changes” in the market.  The outlook is tough with worries that austerity measures may further slow bus market recovery.  “The rise in the numbers of low carbon buses this month is good news; we hope that greening the fleet will deliver more economic and environmental gains.”
More from Robin Dickeson on +44 (0)2 073 449 222 or rdickeson@smmt.co.uk

Carrier Transicold launches Vector 1550

Carrier Transicold successfully launched its all-electric Vector 1550 trailer refrigeration unit at the recent IAA Show in Hannover.  Featuring all-electric technology, the firm says its new unit “meets several challenges of the transport refrigeration industry.”  It combines a 14,800 Watts capacity with lower fuel use, better environmental performance and “maximum cold chain protection.”  The Vector 1550 delivers faster temperature pull-down, reaching the target set point up to 25% faster than conventional technology and with extremely precise temperature control (+/- 0.3°C).  The all-electric technology also gives a constant heating capacity of 8,800 Watts regardless of weather conditions, which means the unit offers extremely fast defrost.  John Forster, UK sales director for Carrier Transicold said “We had an overwhelming response from customers at the show and are looking forward to seeing the first Vector 1550s out on the road in November.”
More from Alexa Gibb on +44 (0)2 086 474 467 or ag@garnett-keeler.com

More UK firms win aftermarket orders

According to the event’s organisers, some 155,000 visitors from 180 countries went to the recent Automechanika aftermarket show in Frankfurt.  The SMMT says this gave UK firms exhibiting valuable opportunities to win more export business.  “This year’s show has highlighted the increasing demand for UK aftermarket expertise from markets all over the world,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt.  The SMMT helped fix UK government support for 52 UK aftermarket industry firms, with many of them reporting “significant” new business.  It says many plan to join it at a number of other future international trade shows.
More from Kate Rumsby on +44 (0)2 073 449 219 or krumsby@smmt.co.uk

‘Enough is enough’ says RHA

The recent penny a litre fuel duty hike is a another blow to an industry still reeling from the effects of economic uncertainty, says the Road Haulage Association, with diesel accounting for more than one third of haulier’s running costs.  “The industry now pays nearly 10 pence a litre more for fuel that at this time last year and the government gets a VAT windfall of at least a penny a litre,” said Kate Gibbs head of media relations for the RHA.  “Of course we urge our members to pass on the increases whenever possible but the time is fast approaching when their customers will start to say enough is enough.”  Fuel duty is now represents 58.19 pence per litre.
More from Kate Gibbs on +44 (0)1 932 838 917 or kate.gibbs@rha.uk.net

Lease deals on Daf hybrids

Daf says it is starting to sell its new LF Hybrid in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium, the markets that show the greatest interest in hybrids so far.  Depending on its success in these areas, Daf will decide if its will include the vehicle in the standard product range in other countries.  The firm says it offers the LF Hybrid via Paccar Financial on a full operational lease.  This means the dealer concerned can handle relevant updates during the contract, so operators get the latest and most environmentally friendly vehicles for a fixed monthly price.
More from Rob Appels on +31 (0)40 214 2874 or rob.appels@daf.com

Gorilla in Hannover’s garden

“Euro VI is scary stuff, and truck operators will be appalled when they grasp its implications,” says World Trucks Analysis editor Oliver Dixon.  “The 2013 legislation may increase the transport industry’s costs by an order of magnitude, while being diametrically opposed to current environmental wisdom.”  He is bewildered by this and the truck industry’s “apparent state of denial,” at Hannover’s IAA.  “This is the 800 lb gorilla in the garden and it is just three years away.  IAA was more concerned with hybrid and other exotic problems that are 30 years away.  Euro VI is now certainly beyond the control and probably beyond the management of the European truck industry.  It is a disaster in the making.”
More from Oliver Dixon on +1 469 585 8762 or subscriptions@worldtrucksanalysis.com

ATS wins Rose

ATS Euromaster just won all international removals firm Rose Removals tyre service business on the back of its European network.  The 35-year-old, Devon-based company made the change after using Euromaster’s network in mainland Europe for its 24 strong van and truck fleet.  ATS works across 11 countries on the continent to give a rapid, roadside response service to many visiting UK fleets.  Rose’s fleet will get a mixture of Avon and Michelin tyres, with fortnightly tyre safety inspections and written reports on tyre condition and tread depth.  Access to ATS’ 1,000 strong tyre-fitting vehicle fleet is part of the deal.
More from James Keeler on +44 (0)2 086 474 467 or jk@garnett-keeler.com

Euro 5 for successful FiestaVan

Ford says the 2011 engines in its FiestaVan will meet Euro 5 emission standards.  The firm’s new 1.8l Duratorq engine and other engine options in the Transit Connect also meet Euro 5.  Ford says this means that its light van customers can get “improved fuel economy and reduced emissions.”  The firm also says that its FiestaVan sales are up 40% this year, “despite a tough business climate.”
For the Transit Connect, the new 1.8-litre Duratorq Euro 5 package also brings new turbocharger technology and a faster final drive ratio to help cut fuel use.
More from Anne-Marie Chatterton on +44 (0)1 277 253 944 or achatter@ford.com

Citroën cuts Berlingo fuel use and emissions

From October production, Citroën says its Euro 4, 75 and 90 hp diesels in Berlingo panel vans will deliver 1.7% better fuel use and emissions.  “These latest changes, which are being introduced without any cost penalty, will ensure that the Berlingo maintains its position as one of the UK’s best-selling small vans,” says Robert Handyside, the UK’s CV operations manager for the firm.”
October built 75 hp Berlingo vans will emit 147g/km while the 90hp model will emit 149g/km.
More from Phil Reed on +44 (0)2 086 684 048 or leadingpr@aol.com

Growing interest in short range electric power

Oldham-based ePower Trucks says growing awareness of new electric vans is driving interest in lower cost options.  The firm has near record sales for its Alke electric, road-legal utility trucks.  These traditionally found use in landscaping and estates management but ePower Trucks is now selling them for urban collection and delivery work.  The vehicles deliver payloads of between 500 and 1,000 kg at speeds up to 30mph across a 40-mile range.  They can tow up to 3,000 kg.
More from Dan Jenkins on +44 (0)7 536 092 682 or dan@brightsparkspr.com