Ford, Stellantis Pro and Volkswagen are all planning major upgrades to their large van ranges in 2024.
Large van registrations helped to drive the new LCV market to a 10th consecutive month of growth in October, according to the SMMT.
Vans weighing from 2.5–3.5 tonnes – the sector containing large vans – rose 5.3% to 18,176 units last month, representing 69% of the market.
The SMMT, however, says the uptake of large electric vans needs to accelerate. It has called for the rollout of more charge points designed to meet the specific requirements of vehicles of this size and also for prompt legislative approval for driving licence derogations for LCVs weighing more than 4.25t to encourage fleets to invest in heavy battery-electric vans.
The Ford Transit (2,148) was the UK’s second best-selling LCV in October ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (1,743) in third place. The Maxus Deliver 9 (789) was the ninth best-selling LCV overall and the third most popular large van in October.
In product news, Volkswagen has announced technology updates for its Crafter large van. Among the upgrades is the fitting of VW’s latest MIB infotainment system, running on a 10.3in or 12.9in screen, with a newly-developed graphical interface and menu layout first introduced with the long-wheelbase ID. Buzz, including direct access buttons for the main menu and important vehicle functions.
It also features touch slider controls for temperature and audio functions, and an online voice control system. In addition, VW’s digital cockpit driver display will be fitted as standard. Other new features include an electronic parking brake and a steering column-mounted gear selector for automatic models.
Newly-available driver assistance features include a blind spot information system, a moving-off information system and travel assist, which combines adaptive cruise control and lane assist functions. Pre-sales for the updated Crafter are scheduled to begin in April 2024.
Ford had previously announced the introduction of upgraded technology to its Transit and E-Transit van ranges. New features include Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system, with a 12in touchscreen, 8in digital instrument cluster and connected sat-nav with real-time traffic information. A new 5G modem will also be fitted, allowing wireless updates to vehicle systems without a visit to a dealer being required. Also new is a delivery assist system – available with long-wheelbase automatic models – that automates repetitive security tasks for frequently stopping delivery drivers. When they shift into park, the van will stop the engine, activate the hazard warning lights and alarm and lock any doors the driver does not use to exit the cab or access parcels.
In addition, there’s a new upfit integration system, designed to allow aftermarket equipment to be controlled using the in-cab touchscreen and monitored via Ford Pro software. Other changes for the 2024 model year Transit include a new eight-speed automatic transmission option for front-wheel drive models, new wheel hub and brake systems designed to reduce weight and be easier to replace and a new heavy-duty gross axle weight rating pack for front-wheel drive models, raising the front axle maximum weight to 2,000kg from 1,850kg to increase the van’s conversion potential.
Stellantis is to renew its full line-up of vans in 2024, which will see the launch of new Citroën Relay, Fiat Professional Ducato, Peugeot Boxer and Vauxhall Movano models. Electric versions of these vans, which will all be built on the same platform, will have a range of 261 miles on the WLTP cycle, says Stellantis.
Volkswagen Crafter update April 2024 (est)
Ford Transit update April 2024 (est)
Stellantis large van range renewal April 2024 (est)