While attending the Samoter exhibition in Verona, Italy, for the unveiling of the Massif, Steve Banner caught up with Alessandro Cichetti, Iveco's sales and marketing director.
Iveco expects to sell around 5,000 Massifs annually says sales and marketing director, Alessandro Cichetti. “Around 20,000 vehicles of this type are sold in Europe every year, and we should be able to get 25 per cent of the market,” he states. We reckon the three-door will make up 40 per cent of our total volume, followed by the five-door at 20 to 25 per cent with the chassis cab and pick-up making up the balance,” he adds.
Iveco intends to offer Massif outside Europe too, with South America, the Middle East, Africa and China (“it could be just the vehicle for China”) all potential markets according to Cichetti. Although he did not say so, there could be scope for sales in India as well. There's potential for military business too, with a tender in for an order from the Spanish army.
Iveco views the UK as a key market for the newcomer and expects sales to ramp up to around 900 annually over a five-year period, giving it roughly 15 per cent of its target market. Potential customers include firms involved in the construction industry, farmers, the emergency services and the utilities.
A van version could be marketed on this side of the Channel. Massif, however, will not make its British Commercial Vehicle Show debut until 2009; Iveco feels that this year's event was too early given the vehicle's UK on-sale date.
Massif was developed from Spanish manufacturer Santana's existing 4x4, with 1,400 out of the 2,000 parts previously used changed. Santana is owned by the regional government of Andalusia, says Cichetti. The manufacturer signed a letter of intent along with Iveco in May 2006 covering product development and various commercial issues, with Massif the consequence.
Selling passenger-carrying vehicles through a truck network can be problematic, and Cichetti would not rule out marketing Massif through other types of outlet. “It could be given to the Fiat network for instance (Iveco is part of the Fiat group) but whatever happens it will be sold solely under the Iveco brand-name,” he says.
Massif was on display in several different guises at the huge Samoter construction exhibition in Verona, Italy. The line-up included a chassis cab-based fire engine variant equipped by Iveco Magirus's operation in Brescia with an alloy cargo body with roller shutter doors on its sides. It's fitted with a 250 bar pump courtesy of Bolzano-based fireXtec plus an 80m hose reel, both of which slide out from the rear of the vehicle on a sturdy tray.
A water tank has been installed and there's the capacity to produce foam as well. A spokesman for fireXtec reckons the compact off-roading fire truck should appeal to civil defence authorities and to operators of major industrial complexes that need a first-response fire-fighting capability as well as to fire brigades.