VCV celebrates world’s longest production run for Transporter

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VCV) is celebrating 70 years of the VW Transporter – the
world’s longest continuous production run for a commercial vehicle.

The model has come a long way in its 70 years and remains among the most popular light
commercial vehicles on the market today.

Six generations since 1950

The Transporter T1 was produced from 1950 to 1967 and was the first model to hold this
prestigious name. It was entirely hand-built and saw many of its parts coming from the VW
Beetle, including the engine and gearbox.

Fast forward to the Transporter T2 (1967-79) and the marque saw the model evolve with a
new front end and sliding doors as standard. The Transporter T3 (1979-92), meanwhile, took
the vehicle to new heights of popularity with its expanded cargo space, wider wheelbase and
all-wheel drive.

A technical revolution was seen in the Transporter T4 (1990-2003), with multiple options for
customisation for buyers for the first time. It was then the Transporter T5 (2003-15) that
placed the comfort of drivers at the forefront of design thinking.

Finally, launched last year, the Transporter T6 (2019-present) now comes with all the latest
mod cons, including intelligent driver assistance, infotainment and two-tone paint schemes in
a nod to the T1.

It’s a model that continues to capture the imagination of buyers and one we hope will be in
production for many years more.

Ellie Baker, Brand Manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “The Transporter is a van
that’s synonymous with reliability and functionality. It’s great to see the model reach its 70-
year milestone, with many more years still in store.”

3D-printed parts ‘could be future of vehicle development’

SEAT’s CUPRA design team has unveiled a new 3D printing production technique that the
manufacturer claims could revolutionise car design in the future.

Using 3D-printed parts to test aspects of design like aerodynamics, performance and styling
could be a game-changer for the industry at large.

Swift and efficient production and testing

Xavi Serra, head of technical development at CUPRA Racing, said: “The main goal is to
have a lot of parts in a short time.”

“We can quickly test a wide variety of designs and furthermore, this technology enables us
to react swiftly to any changes in the design process.”

Engineers have developed new production techniques for CUPRA’s Leon Competicion
racing car, with the model featuring a host of 3D-printed parts, including door mirrors, air
intakes and cooling intakes.

Processing from design to having the item ready to fit to the car can be done is as little as 20
hours, while up to six different components can be produced at the same time. It all means
the trial and testing of new components can be significantly sped up.

Mr Serra concluded: “This technology is and will continue to be key in countless fields to
make the most complex ideas a reality.”

Jenny Smith, Product Manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “Developing new, more efficient
ways to test and develop components in the design phase could make the production of new
models all the faster, as well as helping manufacturer’s to save on cost and time spent in
development.”

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Drivers advised on tyre care for laid-up cars

The coronavirus outbreak has had many consequences for the British public, one of which is not
being able to go outside other than for vital reasons like buying food or going to work, if you’re
unable to work from home.

These restrictions mean huge swathes of the population will be making less use of their cars.
There are some benefits to this – like spending less on fuel – but there are also some potential
disadvantages, like the risk of your car experiencing problems because of sustained lack of use.

Since one of the biggest dangers is your tyres sustaining damage, Falken has offered some
advice on how you can maintain your tyres and make sure they’re in good condition.

Increase the pressure

One useful tip is to check your tyre pressures and, while your car is laid up, to increase them by
about 15 PSI over the normal recommended level. This should help to avoid damage and flat
spots while the vehicle isn’t being used.

Leaving a note in the car to remind you to put the pressure back to normal when you start using
it again is a good idea.

Keep the car inside if you can

If you have access to a garage or an indoor space where you can keep your car, this is the time
to use it.

According to Falken, darker and cooler conditions are more conducive to tyre health. If you
have to leave your car outside, you can protect the tyres with covers made from reflective
aluminium material.

Consider jacking up your car

If you expect your car to be out of use for a particularly long time, it might be an idea to jack it
up so the tyres aren't in contact with the ground at all.

You can also use ‘tyre trainers’ that reduce flat spots and prevent degradation of the rubber.

When life returns to normal and you can get back to looking after your car with regular
maintenance, MyService.Expert from Fuel Card Services can provide access to thousands of
garages nationwide and also save you money on parts and labour.

DVSA announces 6-month MOT extensions

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced a six-month extension for
light commercial vehicles that would have required a new MOT in the near future.

It comes in response to the government’s ongoing actions to tackle the spread of the novel
coronavirus in the UK that has led to a nationwide lockdown in recent days.

Reducing the burden on UK drivers

The extension will cover all cars, vans and motorcycles, and has been set up in a way that
means further extensions can also take place until the current national health emergency is
resolved.

DVSA has set up guidance for the public for motorists and businesses requiring MOTs for
vehicles that are due both prior to March 30th and from March 30th onwards.
That said, the announcement states that all vehicles must continue to be kept in a
roadworthy condition.

The measure has been implemented to ensure all vehicle owners are able to continue to
travel at a time when many businesses up and down the country have been forced to close.
Garages, however, have been exempt and will continue to operate.

This is to ensure vehicle maintenance will continue to be carried out to ensure goods and
key workers are still able to travel safely.

Ellie Baker, Brand Manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “The extension in deadlines
will come as welcome news for those whose vehicle was due an MOT. It remains to be seen
how long the current situation will last, but at least it’s one less thing for people to worry
about.”

Big winners announced for the Business Van Awards 2020

The results have been announced for this year’s much-anticipated Business Van Awards
2020, with a host of models and manufacturers picking up prestigious titles.

Some of the biggest names in the automotive world were shortlisted this year, with a virtual
awards ceremony held last week to announce the winners.

Citroen picks up double accolade

One of the biggest winners on the night was Citroen, with the brand picking up awards for
both its Berlingo Van and Dispatch models.

The Berlingo was named Best Small Trades Van for the second consecutive year, with the
judges highlighting the Berlingo’s class-leading level of fuel efficiency, as well as innovations
like the manufacturer’s Surround Rear Vision system to deliver amazing all-around vision for
drivers, as some of its standout features.

Meanwhile, the Dispatch picked up the Best Large Trades Van title and was praised for its
impressive list of equipment that comes as standard for all business users. The model was
also praised for its excellent fuel efficiency and versatility.

Both vehicles were highly impressive for the judging panel, with each described as an ideal
choice for businesses in need of flexible, sustainable additions to their fleets.

Combo Cargo named Best Small Delivery Van

Another big winner on the night was Vauxhall’s Combo Cargo model, which was named Best
Small Delivery Van 2020.

Richard Hughes, light commercial vehicle director at Vauxhall, said: “The Vauxhall Combo
Cargo continues to impress the sector with its award-winning combination of space,
practicality and low running costs.”

“With such a hotly-contested segment, it’s fantastic to see the Combo Cargo outperform
many of its rivals in these key areas.”

The judges highlighted many of the standout features that helped the Combo Cargo to
secure this year’s title, such as its class-leading fuel economy and high payload capacity.

An ability to fully customise the Combo Cargo also means fleet operators can make use of a
vehicle that completely meets their needs, whatever they may be.

The rest of this year’s winners in full

It wasn’t just Citroeon and Vauxhall celebrating success at this year’s awards, however, with
a host of winners announced on the night:

– Best Van Leasing Award 2020: Leaseplan UK
– Best Used Van Programme 2020: Northgate Vehicle Hire's Van Monster
– Best Van Rental Award 2020: Northgate Vehicle Hire
– Best Heavy Van 2020: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
– Best Van Recovery Award 2020: Mercedes-Benz Vans
– Best Pick-Up 2020: Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian
– Best Van Fleet Management Award 2020: Northgate Vehicle Hire
– Best Van Conversion Programme 2020: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
– Best Van Funding 2020: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

Now in their sixth year, the Business Van Awards are judged by an independent group of
judges to ensure impartiality while representing almost six million businesses operating in
the small-to-medium van sector.

Ellie Baker, Brand Manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “UK fleet managers should
take note of this year’s winners, whether they need reliable, flexible models to bolster their
offering or support in terms of funding or leasing, Business Van has highlighted some
fantastic options that they might like to consider.”