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The latest Ford Transit Custom
The latest Ford Transit Custom is one of a number of new launches that appeal on an aesthetic level

VANS are now being seen as a ‘smart pair of wheels’ and are almost as susceptible to as much image vanity  as cars, with manufacturers scrambling to keep pace with customer demand for good looking vehicles.

The trend has been revealed by CAP Automotive, the independent authority on the current and future vehicle values, commenting on the rapidity of model design changes being introduced by manufacturers.

Until now, the van world has been considered immune from the pace of change seen in car design.

Last year CAP reported the shelf life of some car models has halved since the 1970s, as manufacturers compete to keep their products as fresh and interesting as possible.

But now, the growing importance of aesthetic appeal has been identified by CAP Automotive’s van price forecasting expert, Tim Cattlin, who says the days of vans being seen purely as a work tool are over.

Writing on the CAP Automotive blog at, Cattlin argues that, historically, the only part of the light commercial vehicle market which was strongly susceptible to fashion tastes has been the 4×4 lifestyle vehicle.

This was because, although a commercial vehicle, it is viewed and used as a family vehicle as well as a ‘workhorse’.

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