European CV registrations rise

Data from Acea, the European auto industry body shows commercial vehicle registrations up 6.0% to 1,300,429 across the EU from January to September, compared to the same period last year.  Vans up to 3.5tonnes, rose 8.6% to 1,098,104 while trucks over 16t dropped 5.5% to 120,152.  Buses and coaches over 3.5t dropped 12.3% to 25,065 for the period.  For most vehicle types, the data for September this year compares well with that for last year.  Total CV registrations were up 13.7%.  Vans rose 14.6%, heavy trucks rose 20.4% but busses dropped 10.4%.  Acea says most of the growth came from vans.
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CV Show bookings blossom

“Over 15,000 square metres of stand space is now covered by exhibitors who have signed up for next year’s Commercial Vehicle Show,” says CV Show organiser, Bob Sockl.  “We’ve bookings from many of the industry’s major players and we’re talking to dozens of others.”  The CV Show and its Workshop counterpart will run from Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 April at the National Exhibition Centre, near Birmingham.  Sockl is quietly confident about the Show, which he says will provide an “unrivalled” shop window for firms keen to market their way out the recession.  A floor plan is available by calling +44 (0)1 634 261 262 or by e-mail to
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Citroën helps Southwark win

Citroën says it helped Southwark Council win the Public Sector Fleet of the Year and a commendation for its business unit manager, Matthew Trott, in the 2010 GreenFleet awards.  The south London borough now has 150 new Ready to Run petrol/LPG Berlingo and Dispatch vans in its 320-strong van fleet.  The firm says these played “a key role” in Southwark Council’s latest awards successes.  The Council is in the London Congestion Charge zone so the new vans’ Congestion Charge exemption saves £170,000 a year.  Trott says the new dual fuel vans also deliver a 25% fuel cost saving compared to previous diesel vans and should average 50,000 miles a year.
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MAN confirms for CV Show

Motor Transport reports that MAN’s UK arm has “joined Mercedes-Benz” in confirming its plans to exhibit at the 2011 Commercial Vehicle Show.  “We will have some new ideas and a new approach for the CV Show,” says Des Evans, UK boss at MAN Truck & Bus.  “By next year, confidence should be returning to the UK market.”  The firm expects sales to pick up in the second half of 2011 as operators renew fleets and start buying Euro 5 trucks ahead of Euro 6 models in 2014.  “We’ll have some new ideas and a new approach for the CV Show,” says Evans.
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Harris buys Chapman

AE Harris & Co (Birmingham) Ltd has just bought Chapman Driver Seating Ltd.  Based near Milton Keynes, Chapman supplies bus and coach driver seats to operators including First Group, Stagecoach and Arriva and to bus and coach builders including Plaxton, Alexander Dennis and Wright Bus.  The firm will eventually move its manufacturing to the AE Harris factory near Birmingham.  130-year old Harris makes metal pressings, welded assemblies, turned and machined parts for automotive customers.  John Sloyan, MD at Harris says the deal will help Chapman develop new products and use in-house component supply to increase efficiency.
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Air-Seal Products seals Royal Mail Contract

Air-Seal Products says it has won a three-year deal to supply its heavy-duty tyre sealant to the Royal Mail Group’s fleet.  The firm says it expects to help Royal Mail Group cut tyre-related downtime, saving fuel, cash and emissions by preventing punctures and tyre pressure loss.  The contract is already in place and includes an option to extend until 2015.  Royal Mail has one of the largest van, truck and trailer fleets in the UK.  Air-Seal has also confirmed that it will be at next spring’s CV Show, using stand number 5B 54 to show how it can help cut tyre and related running costs across a wide range of operations.
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Citroën cuts London Congestion Charge costs

Citroën says it offers the only comprehensive range of London Congestion Charge exempt dual-fuel (petrol/LPG) vans and light trucks in the UK.  The firm’s Ready to Run range includes Nemo, Berlingo and Dispatch models, powered by Nicholson McLaren converted dual fuel engines.  Citroën says the system’s computer controlled and common rail gas injection system works with the engine’s main ECU fuelling controls to deliver optimum performance and economy.
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Z-Con to cut fuel theft

US firms TCH and Zonar say they have a new system to authorise fuel sales at truck stops across the US and Canada.  Called Z-Con, this will allow trucking firms to cut fuel theft at the pump, “improve information accuracy and increase reporting frequency.”  The firms say that cutting human error will make fuelling more efficient for drivers, truck stops and hauliers.  They will fit kit at participating truck stops across North America.  Trucks with the relevant Zonar telematics devices can then use the system to deliver automatic and instant records of fuel transactions.  Z-Con cuts the need for drivers to swipe a fuel card and ensures that only the correct truck gets fuelled.
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Aire books for CV Show

Aire Truck Bodies and its Aire Body Care subsidiary have booked a stand at next April’s CV Show, at the National Exhibition Centre.  The firm has been a long-standing supporter of the event because it can “meet more customers in three days” there than it can in six months of normal business, according to Peter Rotherham, its head of business development, who is “cautiously optimistic about the next couple of years.”  The CV Show has delivered “plenty of repair and maintenance business for bodies and tail-lifts as well as valuable enquiries for new bodywork.”  Customers include big contract hire and fleet operators and smaller firms for one-off deals.
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More than just a transport boss

Peter Larner, MD at Suckling Transport has written another novel.  Deathbed Confessions, released last Friday in the US, will be available in the UK in a couple of weeks, through bookshops and Amazon.  It is the sequel to Lost in a Hurricane.  The third in the series, The Unfolding Path, is due next autumn.  “Running a successful transport firm needs a lively imagination and I’ve enjoyed using this in a different direction,” says Larner.  Deathbed Confessions has Jack Daly’s mother die and Daly find evidence that suggests the lady had a relationship with two brothers caught up in gangland killings.  One might have been his father.  Daly checks and finds deathbed confessions that show their true stories.  “The plot is nearly as complicated as successful logistics.”
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