Small is beautiful for Vauxhall vans
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
“We're downsizing engines and improving turbocharging. Even on medium vans you should expect to see downsizing,” commented Jamal El Hout, GM's vice president of product planning and commercial vehicles.
Small engines are the future for Vauxhall vans, according to GM's European commercial vehicle boss in Europe. The muscle will instead come from clever technology to provide suffficient torque and improve fuel economy.
Downsizing has already proved successful in the Combo. “When we launched the 1.3-litre diesel two or three years ago we had concerns that customers wouldn't accept it,” said Phil Harwood, van product manager in the UK. “But there's no prejudice on size any more and it's now our best-selling small van engine.”
El Hout also revealed that the long-awaited decision to launch a new Vauxhall pick-up will be made “within the year”. GM is expected to rebadge a pick-up from either the States or, more likely, Thailand, where the common rail-engined Isuzu Rodeo is also sold with a Chevrolet badge.