THIS year has seen more new vans brought to market than since 2006, as manufacturers vie with one another to take advantage of the UK’s economic recovery.
But the bad news for some is that victory will be determined by the badges on the van, rather than technical excellence or even reliability.
That’s the view of experts at CAP Automotive, the independent car and van information experts for motorists and businesses.
So far in 2014 the giants of the van world – Ford, Iveco, Renault, Vauxhall, Fiat, Citroen, Peugeot and Mercedes – have all launched new products into the light commercial vehicle market.
Now the lines are drawn for a battle of the badges as each manufacturer claims class-leading status for its new vehicles.
Although sales are the ultimate measure of success, the most important factor early in the life of a new van is the expectation of its value in the future second hand van market.
Ken Brown, of CAP, argues that although every new van launched this year is better built, safer, boasts superior economy and driving experience than any of its predecessors the badge still remains the single most important factor determining what buyers will pay in the future used market.
Expected future used values are the ultimate key to success for all new vehicles. This is because large fleets – who are responsible for the bulk of new sales – always want to limit their exposure to depreciation. Lower expected depreciation means they can set more competitive leasing rates.