While new model launches from established players in the light commercial vehicle market are always exciting events, it is even more intriguing when a manufacturer enters the sector for the first time.
The last time it happened was in 2012 when Chinese brand Great Wall introduced its budget-priced Steed pick-up truck with the aim of gaining traction in the market through undercutting its rivals. The ploy didn’t work – the Steed lacked the quality and workhorse credentials of other pick-ups, meaning punters often considered second-hand examples a better bet than a new Steed, and Great Wall also struggled to keep up with emissions legislation.
Another Chinese manufacturer, DFSK, has endured similar difficulties since 2011 in trying to carve out a niche for its cut-price microvans.
But there is a brand that looks to have a decent chance of gaining a foothold in the large van sector.
MAN’s TGE is based on Volkswagen’s well-received new Crafter and together the models could make a major impression on the segment.
While VW targets customers running light, medium and large vans, MAN takes the opposite approach in terms of weight – pitching the TGE at fleets operating heavy trucks that also need an LCV.
Crucially, TGE customers will be able to take advantage of MAN’s embedded HGV network of 60-plus dealerships offering a genuine out-of-hours service.