Other weight-saving measures include making a spare tyre inflator available for customers who want it rather than providing a spare wheel, he adds. “It saves 50kg,” he states.

“We're analysing every aspect of the vehicle's chassis and body with an eye to bringing weight down wherever practical,” he continues. “We aim to introduce a Daily next year that will be 50kg to 100kg lighter than the current model.” Exotic materials such as aramid fibres will not be employed however, he says; at least not in the near future.

Giovannini is concerned about the car-like approach to CO2 emission testing that the authorities apparently feel should be applied to vans. It is inappropriate, he contends, because it does not take into account the difference between the vehicle's laden and unladen weight and the impact it has on what actually comes out of the exhaust pipe.

Wilfried Porth, worldwide boss of Mercedes-Benz's light commercial vehicle operation, fears that the net effect will be to privilege small vans at the expense of large ones. The result will be to increase CO2 emissions rather than reduce them, he contends.

“Five little vans producing 120g/km of CO2 cause more environmental problems than one big one producing 200g/km,” he remarks. Mercedes does not, of course, produce a light van to rival models such as Vauxhall's Combo.