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First look: Mini delivery vans headed for Oz

Delivering babies: Fiat Fiorino (above) and Citroen Nemo are both confirmed for Australia in 2008.

Fiat, Citroen and Peugeot unveil new baby vans in Europe

5 Oct 2007

FIAT, Citroen and Peugeot have jointly developed a new ultra-compact commercial van to be built in Turkey – and at least two of the three versions are likely to be on Australian roads within a year.

Designed primarily for the European market, where their compact dimensions are well-suited to the narrow city streets, the new Fiat/PSA van family has just been launched in Europe.

They will be marketed as the Fiat Fiorino, Citroën Nemo and Peugeot Bipper.

Ateco Australia, the local agent for both Fiat and Citroen, hopes that the new baby van creates a new market segment in the same way that the Citroen Berlingo did.

Ateco spokesman Edward Row told GoAuto that right-hand drive production would begin next May at the joint venture plant in Bursa, Turkey with local manufacturer Tofas.

36 center imageLeft: Citroen Nemo.

Mr Rowe said they would come here in the third quarter of 2008 “at the earliest” and sell below the 1.4-litre Berlingo, which is priced here from $15,990.

“The big volume for vans in Australia is obviously the one-tonners and it drops markedly below that, but with these vans we might establish a whole market opportunity like we did with Berlingo,” said Mr Rowe.

Peugeot Australia spokesman Mathew McAuley said that the company, which does not currently sell any light commercial vehicles, is still considering which models it might bring to Australia and when. He said a decision was likely by the end of the year.

Fiat and PSA Peugeot Citroen have also produced a trio of larger vans that sit above Berlingo and which are expected to come to Australia within six months.

The Citroen Dispatch (known as the Jumpy in non-English-speaking countries), Fiat Scudo and Peugeot Expert are powered by a series of 1.6 and 2.0-litre common-rail turbo-diesel and petrol four-cylinder engines. The smaller and just-revealed Fiorino, Nemo and Bipper feature one or two sliding side doors, large side-hinged asymmetrical rear doors that open 180 degrees and a 610kg payload.

Measuring 3.86m long, 1.72m wide and 1.72m high, the new vans have a load volume of 2.5 cubic metres. A stowable passenger seat enables capacity to be increased to 2.8 cubic metres for a loading space length of 2.5 metres.

Standard equipment includes power steering, ABS brakes and a driver airbag while options include parking sensors, a separate cab locking system, additional storage space and Bluetooth connectivity.

Two engines are offered – a 56kW 1.4-litre petrol and a 52kW HDi diesel – and the diesel will be offered with the five-speed clutchless manual gearbox seen here in a number of Citroen passenger cars.

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