The UK’s leading LCV title recognised the outstanding performers in the industry at its annual Awards ceremony in December
Christmas started early for a host of the light commercial vehicle industry’s leading lights as the glittering What Van? Awards luncheon took place on 11 December at a new venue in central London.
The prestigious London Hilton Bankside, on the south bank of the river Thames, close to the Tate Modern art gallery and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, played host to the event, which saw 400 of the great and the good of the automotive world gather to celebrate the best in the LCV sector.
Following an opening address from What Van? editor James Dallas the guests tucked into a superb three-course lunch, washed down by fine wines, before host Jo Caulfield took to the stage to provide the entertainment.
In his address Dallas lamented the ongoing economic and political uncertainty caused by the unresolved issue of Brexit and called for a return to the stable trading conditions needed to enable the automotive sector to continue to prosper.
But he added: “The industry remains resilient and vibrant and there is much to celebrate, particularly in the strides that manufacturers and operators are making towards reducing emissions without sacrificing day-to-day working efficiency.”
Dallas went on to thank his fellow judges and the sponsors of the 2020 What Van? Awards: The AA, ALD Automotive, BNP Paribas, Locks 4 Vans, Sortimo, Trucksmith and Vantastec.
Having begun with just five awards in 1989, for 2020 What Van? honoured the outstanding products, individuals and organisations in 24 crucial categories as well as revealing the overall Light Commercial Vehicles of the Year.
The Renault Master and the Vauxhall Movano jointly took the top prize.
What Van? praised the two heavily revised large vans, which are built on the same platform at Renault’s plant in Batilly, France, for their refined and efficient Euro6 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel engines, which span outputs from 130hp to 180hp, the breadth of the model ranges, with load volumes going up to 17.0m3 and top payloads of more than 1,500kg on 3.5t models, and for the wealth of new driver assistance features the brands have introduced to the vans.
The Master and Movano have shared a platform under a partnership between Renault and Opel/Vauxhall stretching back to 1998.
This arrangement, however, will come to an end in the not too distant future when the Movano will come under the umbrella of Vauxhall’s new owner, the PSA Group, and likely become a rebadged version of the Citroen Relay and Peugeot Boxer.