OKAY, so the latest Volkswagen Transporter looks like the last one, but that’s unlikely to put off key buyers. We spoke to Commercial Vehicles product marketing manager, Jenny Maeckelmann, about the new van and how it will fit in with SME buyers.
“SMEs are really important customers to us, but also our fleet buyers. More so, our customers are SMEs or SME fleets and a lot of them like the Transporter. So they’re buying Transporter panel vans. Also for example, they are choosing the Transporter Combi, because they can use it for their business – but also with their family at the weekends.
“For Combi we expect a slight shift in sales for T6, but we will still sell a lot more panel vans obviously.
“Transporter is unique because it is an iconic vehicle, if you look at T6, it carries on all those key strengths and repackages them into something more contemporary. So it’s really important that it appeals to its current van base without a doubt.
“Transporter in terms of design has always aged well; it is a Volkswagen philosophy to evolve the design and I think we are very fortunate that we’re the only brand afforded that opportunity. So in terms of design the T6 has moved on, but in most areas T5 was still the benchmark, but with T6 we’ve really moved this up another level. So looking at the interior space, the safety features and when you drive T6, it’s almost like you’re in a Volkswagen passenger car.
“So the distinction between passenger car and commercial vehicle is the closest it has ever been in the sector with T6. That’s where we might gain conquest sales.
“With T5 last year, the only thing that stopped us from selling more was us. What I mean by that is having the right supply of vehicles. We can sell as many as we can get hold of, the Hanover factory was at full capacity! It was working extra shifts, it was working weekend shifts, but when globally demand for T5 was where it was last year, you can only take a pot from that and we were lucky that the UK is the biggest export market.