Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Van Registrations Remain Low

New figures released by the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers) have shown that new Van registrations are predictably low. The stats show that January 2010's registrations were significantly lower than those for January 2009.

A total of
13,099 new commercial vehicles were registered in January down 34.5% year on year. These figures will come as no surprise to most in the new or used vans markets, although they are by no means totally bad news. It is hoped that the worst January since 1992 will encourage the Government to offer more support for van sales companies and those who rely upon them.

Paul Everitt of the SMMT is cautiously optimistic:
“New van and truck registrations continue to reflect a weak economic recovery and businesses reluctant to commit to new investment. These are the lowest January truck registrations since 1992, leaving most truck makers very disappointed at the slow start to the year. It is extremely important that government uses the upcoming Budget to encourage new investment in capital goods and help re-build business confidence."

Top Gear Man With a Van challenge

The presenters of Top gear attempt a series of challenges in order to become a bona fide Man With A Van.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Campervans to be banned in New Zealand?

Members of the Otago Conservation Board are concerned about the amount of litter found in their scenic tourist hot-spots are are willing to do anything to overcome the problem. That believe that Camper van driving visitors are to blame for the roadside litter and they have banded together to put it to an end.

The board thinks that 'freedom campers' should be banned if they are not willing to clean up after themselves. They have "voted unanimously to draft a letter to their Department of Conservation superiors calling for the Government to ban campervans." It has also been suggested that companies offering van hire should be made legally responsible for the actions of their customers.

This seems outrageous to me, if the campervan contains a bin it is up to those driving it to use it. Why should van hire be banned rather than action taken against those who litter?

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Mercedes-Benz To Lauch Electric Van

Mercedes Benz have announced their plans to manufacture an electric van this year. The van will be based on the Mercedes Benz Vito and will be 'world’s first with electric drive system ex factory' which means it will come off the production line battery powered rather than being converted. The initial deployment will be limited, around 100 vans are expected to be sold in 2010 to 20 fleet customers.

Mercedes announced their plans this week in San Sebastian says that they will make up to 2000 of the electric vehicles. They will have the same load carrying capabilities as the non-electric Vito although they will require recharging every 130 km. This makes the van ideal for urban use but not long distances.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Rat Look Vans

Normally I try and keep this blog informative by covering all the latest news in the commercial vehicles sector but sometimes that can be hard work. Although we are starting to see some slight improvement in sales and manufacturing figures sometimes it all seems to be doom and gloom! I have decided to try and include some more light-hearted posts (hence the Youtube videos)in order to lighten the mood.

You might not be familiar with the term 'rat look' when it comes to describing vans and cars but you will have seen them on your travels. A Rat van will look deliberately distressed and at first sight may appear to be falling apart. If you were offered one of these by a van hire company you would think they were winding you up but these vans can actually be worth a lot of money.

It is normally classic older vans and cars which people choose to customize in this way in order to emphasize their age. Despite their appearances these vehicles are normally in great working order and normally a lot cleaner inside than out! The amount of time that goes into making a van look old and decrepit can be surprising. In fact the owners of these vans will have spent a lot of time and money on the look of their vehicles in order to cultivate this look.

Some car owners will rust one panel section which I always think looks a bit daft. If you are going to reject the idea that cars should look shinny and new then you might as well go all the way and have a car which gets complaints from the neighbours!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Crazy Van Jump

I found this video on Youtube of a guy jumping his van over a bump in the road. Not the best way to treat your van but it looks like good fun!