Citroen’s UK LCV boss Jeremy Smith described the Dispatch medium van that the brand pulled the wraps off at the NEC, Birmingham, as its most important launch for two decades, since the introduction of the Berlingo light van.
He said the medium van sector is the fastest-growing LCV market area with many customers seeking to downsize from large vans. “There’s no point in carrying empty space around,” he said.
The new Dispatch is available on two wheelbases and in three lengths, with Smith claiming the compact version targets urban applications not covered by other mid-sized models.
He said Citroen’s 80 Business Centres sell 80% of the brand’s vans and admitted the other 100 dealerships need to increase sales. He claimed Combi and passenger-carrying versions of the Dispatch would give them the opportunity to increase volumes.
PSA Peugeot-Citroen chairman Carlos Tavares has announced the company will enter the pick-up market, but Smith said this would not happen for at least two years.
PSA’s head of light commercial vehicles David McQueen confirmed to What Van? that the brand will team up with another manufacturer to produce the pick-up, although he claimed the decision hasn’t yet been made as to which one. PSA partners with Toyota on the Proace/Dispatch/Expert medium van, and on a city car, which would make it logical that new PSA pick-up will be derived from Toyota’s Hilux.