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New Punto Van: Fiat has high hopes for its newcomer boosting sales among those who want high technology in a small van

Author:

Robin Roberts

Britain’s small-car-derived van sector has a new entrant in the shape of the Fiat New Punto Van.

New Punto Van replaces the Grande Punto Van in the Fiat Professional range and comes with a range of engines, high equipment levels and improved interiors, all derived from its small car stablemates and was one of the highlights on the Fiat CV stand in the NEC.

Fiat used the show to highlight eight vehicles from its extensive range in the liveries of major customers and included a variety of the technologies which are available including its eco:Drive enhancements and Comfort-Matic gearbox.

The New Punto Van has a load capacity of 1.0 M3 and a 520KG payload but more significantly it can now be chosen with one of a three power outputs from the acclaimed 1.3 MultiJet 2 diesel engine and even sub-100gkm emissions.

Buyers can specify a 75hp 190Nm version capable of 67.2mpg on the combined cycle test and emitting 112gkm, an 85hp 200Nm with stop&start giving 80.7mpg and just 90gkm or the 95hp 200Nm version, also good for 67.2mpg and 110gkm.

The new range includes standard electronic stability control, brake assist, remote locking, electric windows and heated mirrors, fully adjustable steering column and driver’s seat and CD/ MP3 player.

The 75hp model is £10,990 plus taxes and duty and each subsequent model rises in price by £500 with the top SX getting air conditioning and driver’s knee airbag.

The new model will be delivered to its first buyers at the end of April and Fiat Professional Director in the UK, Sebastiano Fedrigo said they were confident of improving on the former Grande Punto Van’s annual registrations.

“We have never been big players in Britain’s car derived van market,” he said, adding, “but with the New Punto Van we have set out to give more choice to customers and make them aware of Fiat’s advanced technologies to make their lives easier and better while doing their work.”

He said the arrival of the sub-100gkm model could be significant if more places in Britain move towards low emission urban zones.

Sebastiano says there is a growing awareness of the need to improve driving style to maximise economy and the downloadable eco:Drive technology had seen improvements of up to 15pc among the 100,000 who use it across Europe.

After “terminating” the franchise agreements with its 153 UK dealers last year, Fiat set about rebuilding its network and insisted on greater professionalism from those who did want to sign up for the newly reorganised 80 territories.

He believes by insisting on greater professionalism from dealers, including some operating maintenance service 24hrs seven days a week, that customers will be happier with the Fiat products and its support and will want to buy more, and importantly, will spread the word about Fiat Professional vans.

The newcomer with its low emissions engine will offer considerably improved reduction in pence  per mile costs and be reflected in company van tax costs.

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