An all-new PSA Peugeot Citroën compact van makes its debut at the CV Show, and is spearheading the firm’s drive to grow its light commercial vehicle market share.
Speaking at the launch of the van at the Sevelnord plant in northern France where it’s being built, Philippe Narbeburu, PSA Head of LCVs, said he expected the company’s share of the European LCV market to go from 10% to 16% in the next year.
The “EMP 2” (efficient modular platform) on which the new van range is based not only replaces the current Citroën Dispatch and Peugeot Expert models, but also forms the basis for the new Toyota Proace van.
About €150 million has been spent modernising the Sevelnord plant. It’s been assembling the current Citroën Dispatch and Peugeot Expert ranges, shared by Fiat as the Scudo, since 1995.
Last year the plant produced 90,000 vehicles, but the modernisation programme means it’s got capacity to build up to 180,000 vehicles annually. A third shift at the plant will start, soon. How its output will be divided between the new Toyota and PSA vans is yet to be agreed.
A wide range of body variations for the new range will be available, like crew cab and platform cab models. Panel van load volumes have increased from 5 to 6.6 cubic metres over the old model. Maximum payload’s 1,400kg.
Among several eye-catching driver aids on the new Dispatch/Expert range are “hands-free” sliding side-doors, activated when someone stood next to the door “makes a gesture with a foot”, and the option of a head-up instrument display, believed to be a world first for any light commercial vehicle.