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New in 2014: Light year for LCVs

Hard-working: Fiat's Doblo light-commercial van shares its underpinnings with the Opel Combo and is due for a local release in the fourth quarter of the year.

More new light-commercial vans and additional variants set to arrive in 2014

Outlook logo3 Feb 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

DESPITE some of the highest-selling light-commercial utes in Australia well overdue for replacement, next-generation versions of the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara are not due until 2015.

Apart from the budget SsangYong Actyon Sports gaining a driveline and spec update in quarter two, most of the action in Australia’s LCV market this year relates to vans.

In February, Ford will launch its new Transit Custom one-tonne front-wheel-drive van range, with the larger two-tonne rear-drive Transit arriving in March. Both will carry the Blue Oval’s latest design and improved connectivity and cabin ergonomics.

Fiat’s burgeoning commercial range will continue to grow in 2014 with the Ducato gaining a more powerful 134kW diesel engine in Q2, and its Doblo compact van will enter the fray in Q4 to take on Volkswagen’s Caddy.

French brand Renault is also riding high thanks to increased LCV sales last year, and will add to its portfolio by mid-year with a smaller L1/H1 version of its huge Master van.

Its Kangoo van range – which is a competitor for the Doblo and Caddy – will expand late in Q1 or early Q2 with a new Kangoo Crew variant that features extra seating over the regular model.

Mercedes-Benz was scheduled to launch its Kangoo-based Citan van in 2014, but the German manufacturer’s local arm has since cancelled plans to launch it here after struggling to secure an appropriate specification for this market.

WHAT’S COMING:
Ford Transit Custom FWD - February
Ford Transit RWD - March
Renault Kangoo Crew - Q1/Q2
Fiat Ducato 180hp - Q2
SsangYong Actyon Sports update - Q2
Renault Master L1/H1 - June/July
Fiat Doblo - Q4

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