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Found 14 results

  1. PickupTrucks.com is reporting that General Motors will be quietly dropping the light-duty full-size vans in the 2015 model year. That means the only vans you can buy at a Chevrolet or GMC dealer will be the 2500, 3500 and 4500 versions. GM sales spokesman Jim Cain said the 1500 models only made up 23 percent of the Chevrolet Express and 7 percent of the GMC Savana. "We recognize that the van space has changed radically. The 1500-series van was the last vehicle [of its type] that has been produced in North America that was under 8,500 pounds, and it had some very unique attributes to it," said Joe Langhauser, product manager for GM's full-size vans. GM isn't worried about the customers who bought the 1500. Langhauser said that buyers could either move up to the 2500 or go with something smaller like the City Express, due out in the 2015 model year. When asked about the 1500 model returning, Langhauser said it was possible. Source: PickupTrucks.com William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  2. As the group of journalists were finishing up lunch and listening to closing statements of a presentation, the thoughts of many turned to what they would like to get their hands on next. Would it be the Jaguar F-Type? Maybe the Corvette Stingray? How about the SRT Viper? Yours truly had this same thought as well, but it wasn't towards to any of those vehicles mentioned. Instead, what I had my eye on was a yellow vehicle with NYC taxi graphics. Yep, I had my sights set on the Nissan NV200 Taxi. Trying to figure why I would want to drive a taxi cab of all things when there is a multitude of other vehicles that many would say are much more desirable could take years to figure out, so lets skip that and talk about the vehicle itself. The NV200 Taxi is a fully functional taxi cab with such items as the bright yellow paint, lights on the roof, the divider between the front and back, and other details. Sitting in the back is alright with loads of head and legroom. There's also enough space for a wheelchair fit back here (the NV200 has an integrated ramp to allow one to enter). As for the driver, controls are logically laid out and the front seat is pretty comfortable. Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder with 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque, mated to a CVT. On city roads, the engine is more than plenty to get up to such speeds as 25 to 35 MPH. On the country roads of Elkhart Lake, the engine really had to pushed to get up to speed (55 MPH) and the CVT didn't really help matters as the drone would come in. Ride quality is really good. The NV200 Taxi's suspension setup soaks up bumps and ruts to make the trip feel somewhat relaxed. The same cannot be said when you take it into corner as the NV200 Taxi has the handling characteristics of a plat of Jello. If your taxi driver decides to a turn a little too quickly in the NV200 Taxi, hold on to dear life. Whether or not the NV200 Taxi becomes commonplace on New York streets remains to be seen. But Nissan has interesting option for those taxi operators who want something a bit versatile. Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the NV200 Taxi for the MAMA Spring Rally Year: 2014 Make: Nissan Model: NV200 Taxi Trim: N/A Engine: 2.0L Four-Cylinder Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 131 @ 5,200 Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 4,800 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/26/24 Curb Weight: N/A Location of Manufacture: Civac, Mexico Base Price: $29,700 As Tested Price: $30,560 (Includes $860.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  3. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 8, 2013 Forbes had the chance to talk with General Motors' North American president Mark Reuss this week. Reuss talked about key gaps that he sees in GM's lineup and what could be done to fill them. We'll start with the Chevrolet Cruze. Since going on sale in the U.S., a lot of us have been wondering why there isn't a hatchback version. Especially considering the number of compact hatchbacks that are on sale has been growing and that Chevrolet sells a Cruze hatchback in Europe. Reuss said “That was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.” Even without the hatchback, the Cruze has been doing quite well, with 211,862 models sold so far this year. Speaking about the next-generation Cruze, Reuss said “the next-generation will blow you away.” From what we know, the next-generation Cruze will adopt a design profile similar to the Sonic. Maybe the five-door Cruze will come as well. Reuss also talked about a "contemporary wagon for mainstream America." Something more affordable than the wagons from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Cadillac's own CTS Sports Wagon. There are a few other models that were bandied about by Reuss including a compact van to take on the Ford Transit Connect, a “black hole” pickup truck that would be sandwhich between a medium-duty and heavy-duty truck, and a a flagship model for Buick that Reuss says “a much more beautiful Panamera.” Source: Forbes William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  4. Volkswagen is looking towards vans and a possible pickup as way to bolster its U.S. lineup and become something other than a niche player in the marketplace. Bloomberg reports that Volkswagen's head of the light commercial vehicle unit, Eckhard Scholz said the company is investigating whether or not to send some of their vans and possibly the Amarok - the only pickup VW builds at the moment - to the U.S. “Pickup trucks are a dominating segment,” while there’s also a trend in the U.S. toward compact European vans, Scholz said. “We’re looking at both options intensively.” Now if this sounds familiar, Volkswagen of America CEO said something similar back in January. Michael Horn told Automotive News the company was looking into bringing a van over - be it the large Crafter van or small Caddy. Source: Bloomberg
  5. We know that Volkswagen is in the midst of readying a seven-seat crossover and a long-wheelbase Tiguan as a part of a new product offensive for the U.S., but that may not be the only vehicle in the plans. Automotive News reports that Volkswagen is considering two other vehicles for the U.S. The first is the production version of the Golf R-400 concept. The concept which made its North American debut at the LA Auto Show in November packs 395 horsepower version of the Golf R's turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. Hans-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen’s development chief tells Automotive News the company is close to making a decision on whether the model should go into production. “We are just in front of the decision to do it or not, but I personally think that we have good conditions to do it,” said Neusser. If Volkswagen decides to put the Golf R-400 into production, expect the company to send this model to the U.S. The other vehicle up for consideration is a van. Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen of America says the automaker is studying whether a van makes sense for the U.S. market place. “We’re studying this, and personally I believe we should do something based on the technology which we already have in this market,” said Horn. There are two candidates for the van proposal. First is the next-generation Crafter van which is about the size of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The other van is the Caddy which competes with the likes of the Ford Transit Connect and Fiat Doblo (Ram Promaster City). Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  6. SEMA isn't the likely place for an automaker to introduce a new model, but Mercedes-Benz chose the aftermarket show to reveal the the North American versions of its new V-Class vans. For North America, the V-Class will be called the Metris and it will go sale next fall in cargo and passenger van models. Mercedes didn't go into any details about the Metris, but did talk about the four conceptual models that are sitting on the show floor. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro Shop - Golf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van - Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck - Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. RENNtech: Party/DJ Van - A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. "We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015. It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA "Mission Metris" presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate 'Mercedes-Benz Metris' and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. Source: Mercedes-Benz William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Mission Metris: A First Glimpse at the New Midsize Van from Mercedes-Benz at SEMA 2014 “Mission Metris” is a showcase of 4 midsize project vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas M-B Vans enters the US commercial midsize van segment in fall 2015, offering both passenger and cargo versions without any competitors in the same size category Introduction of the “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada Pricing and specifications to be announced in 2015 Sprinter large commercial van sales are up 17.3% YTD in 2014 in the US, the second largest global vans market for Mercedes-Benz MY2015 Sprinter enhancements include optional 4×4 (Q1/2015 intro) and super high roof, and standard equipment now includes Crosswind Assist on 2500 models and extended service intervals up to 20,000 miles Fuel-efficient 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain has a 50% take rate. 75% of all M-B Sprinter vans are upfitted Mercedes-Benz Vans USA is introducing “Mission Metris,” a showcase of 4 new midsize Project Vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas. Designed to be a first glimpse at the new midsize commercial van entry into the US and Canada in fall 2015 for customers and upfitters alike, production versions of the cargo and passenger versions will be shown at a later date in 2015. This occasion also marks the introduction of the new “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada, whereas “Vito” will remain the midsize commercial van nameplate for all other global markets. “We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015,” said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. "It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA “Mission Metris” presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate ‘Mercedes-Benz Metris’ and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety." Representatives from Mercedes-Benz and the following companies will be on hand to showcase their respective creative concepts: RENNtech: Party/DJ Van A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro ShopGolf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. In the US large van segment, Sprinter sales continue to be brisk, up 17.3% YTD. Model year 2014 brought new major enhancements such as a fresh and confident new front end exterior design, 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain that already plays a similar role as its big brother, the V6, and upgrades of safety and infotainment. Model year 2015 is even more exciting, with the addition of standard Crosswind Assist on all 2500 models and increased service intervals of up to 20,000 miles (MY 2014 service intervals were up to 15,000 miles). An optional Sprinter 4×4 version of both cargo and passenger versions will also be added in Q1/2015, which will be the only ex-factory four-wheel drive system on the market for a commercial van in the USA. In addition to that, the option for a super high roof underlines the benchmark position concerning interior heights by offering an interior roof height of up to 7 feet. And the SULEV option for our standard 4-cylinder BlueTEC engine is the first SULEV diesel engine worldwide and underlines our ‘Green Leadership.’ All of these features highlight the position of the Sprinter as the most innovative large van in the segment. Independent from the model year, up to 75% of all Sprinters have upfitter treatment on them, regardless of extra shelving or extensive Recreational Vehicle modifications.
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 6, 2012 Ford is making some big waves today in the van market. At a event today in Amsterdam, Ford unveiled the new Transit and Transit Connect. We'll begin with the 2014 Transit Connect. Ford has really done a good job of bringing Connect in line with their new design language. Up front, the Transit Connect wears a trapezoidal grille smaller, sleeker headlamps, and more pronounced foglamps. The back features slimmer taillights and a tailgate. No word whether the barn doors on the current Connect will be available. Ford is staying quiet on what will be the powertrain lineup will be, but has said the European model will receive "highly-efficient downsized diesel and petrol engines," while in the U.S., we'll get "a tailored range of gasoline powertrains." The 2014 Transit Connect arrives in late 2013. And it's bigger brother Ford also revealed the new Transit which will take the place of the E-Series van here in the U.S. The Transit will come variety of body styles, incorporating both short and long wheelbases, as well as standard- and tall-roof models for both Europe and the U.S. For Europe, the Transit will be available in front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive and use Ford's 2.2L Duratorq TDCi diesel inline-four. For the U.S., we will only get rear-wheel drive. Engines will include a "powerful diesel option" and Ford's 3.5L EcoBoost V6. The new Transit arrives in late 2013. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 3 Ford Reveals All-New Global Transit and Transit Connect Commercial Vehicles at 'Go Further' Event • Ford unveils its new generation of Transit commercial vehicles, developed on all-new global platforms for sale in Europe, North America and other worldwide markets • Tough, functional and professional, the all-new Ford Transit brings a new level of capability and versatility to the medium commercial van market; it replaces the heavier two-tonne Transit in Europe and worldwide markets, and replaces the E-Series in North America • Stylish all-new Ford Transit Connect delivers outstanding performance across load carrying ability, dependability and fuel economy, for a best-in-class cost of ownership package AMSTERDAM, Sept. 6, 2012 – Ford today revealed a new generation of world-class Transit commercial vehicles at its "Go Further" event. Developed under its "One Ford" global product strategy in Europe, the Ford Transit and Ford Transit Connect models will be sold in Europe, North America and other worldwide markets, with product ranges tailored to the needs of customers in each region. "These new products will carry more, work harder, last longer, and cost our customers less to operate – just as Ford Transits have done for 47 years," said Barb Samardzich, vice president Product Development, Ford of Europe. "The unprecedented launch of two all-new Transit models will extend Ford's leadership in serving commercial vehicle customers around the world." The introduction of the new generation Transit and Transit Connect models is a major step in Ford's commitment to completely redesign its entire commercial vehicle line-up for Europe by the end of 2013. Using the latest global platforms, the two models highlight Ford's new approach to delivering the next generation of class-leading commercial vehicles to meet the needs of customers in all worldwide markets. The new range builds on almost 50 years of experience in creating market-leading commercial vans and was engineered at Ford's Centre of Excellence for commercial vehicles in Europe; applying global product development resources. The all-new Ford Transit replaces the heavier two-tonne Transit derivatives in Europe and other worldwide markets, and will eventually replace the popular Ford E-Series range in North America. Tough, functional and professional, new Transit brings new levels of capability and versatility to the medium commercial van market. Offering a comprehensive range of body styles and derivatives, with multiple wheelbases, roof heights and new chassis cowl versions, all-new and more capable Transit is tailored to the needs of key worldwide markets. For Europe, a full range of Transit bodystyles and derivatives, offering front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, will be powered by the latest 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel. In North America, customers can choose from several engines, including the proven 3.5-litre EcoBoost or a powerful diesel option; each features rear-wheel drive and at least 25 percent better fuel economy than a comparable E-Series. Multiple roof heights and wheelbases will be available. North American Transit vans will be manufactured in Kansas City, alongside the Ford F-150. The stylish all-new Ford Transit Connect will deliver new standards for the sub-one-tonne segment for load-carrying ability, cost of ownership and dependability. Available in a choice of short and long wheelbase versions, the new Transit Connect will offer European and North American customers the most flexible and functional loadbox in the segment, with a host of innovative features to enhance everyday productivity. Transit Connect features the latest low-CO2 powertrain technologies to deliver best-in-class fuel economy in all of its target markets. In Europe, the engine line-up will include highly-efficient downsized diesel and petrol engines, while the U.S. market will benefit from a tailored range of gasoline powertrains. The new model has a stylish cockpit with car-like design and craftsmanship, and offers the latest Ford interior technologies and driver assistance features. The Ford Transit brand has established a legendary reputation for toughness and dependability, and the new global Transit products have been engineered to extend that tradition. Both the all-new Transit and all-new Transit Connect have been subjected to Ford's ultra-stringent commercial vehicle testing and durability standards, covering millions of miles of arduous testing in laboratories, at proving grounds and on customer fleets. "Our new global Ford Transit products will be totally fit for purpose," said Samardzich. "These are the strongest, most capable and most efficient commercial vans we have ever built – this is the start of a new chapter in the Transit success story." In Europe, deliveries of the all-new Transit and Transit Connect are due to start by the end of 2013. The two new global models join the Transit Custom in Ford's renewed commercial vehicle line-up for Europe. Targeting the one-tonne market, the all-new Transit Custom is now on sale across European markets. It will not be introduced in North America but will be launched in other selected other global markets later.
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 8, 2013 Forbes had the chance to talk with General Motors' North American president Mark Reuss this week. Reuss talked about key gaps that he sees in GM's lineup and what could be done to fill them. We'll start with the Chevrolet Cruze. Since going on sale in the U.S., a lot of us have been wondering why there isn't a hatchback version. Especially considering the number of compact hatchbacks that are on sale has been growing and that Chevrolet sells a Cruze hatchback in Europe. Reuss said “That was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.” Even without the hatchback, the Cruze has been doing quite well, with 211,862 models sold so far this year. Speaking about the next-generation Cruze, Reuss said “the next-generation will blow you away.” From what we know, the next-generation Cruze will adopt a design profile similar to the Sonic. Maybe the five-door Cruze will come as well. Reuss also talked about a "contemporary wagon for mainstream America." Something more affordable than the wagons from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Cadillac's own CTS Sports Wagon. There are a few other models that were bandied about by Reuss including a compact van to take on the Ford Transit Connect, a “black hole” pickup truck that would be sandwhich between a medium-duty and heavy-duty truck, and a a flagship model for Buick that Reuss says “a much more beautiful Panamera.” Source: Forbes William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  9. We know that Volkswagen is in the midst of readying a seven-seat crossover and a long-wheelbase Tiguan as a part of a new product offensive for the U.S., but that may not be the only vehicle in the plans. Automotive News reports that Volkswagen is considering two other vehicles for the U.S. The first is the production version of the Golf R-400 concept. The concept which made its North American debut at the LA Auto Show in November packs 395 horsepower version of the Golf R's turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. Hans-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen’s development chief tells Automotive News the company is close to making a decision on whether the model should go into production. “We are just in front of the decision to do it or not, but I personally think that we have good conditions to do it,” said Neusser. If Volkswagen decides to put the Golf R-400 into production, expect the company to send this model to the U.S. The other vehicle up for consideration is a van. Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen of America says the automaker is studying whether a van makes sense for the U.S. market place. “We’re studying this, and personally I believe we should do something based on the technology which we already have in this market,” said Horn. There are two candidates for the van proposal. First is the next-generation Crafter van which is about the size of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The other van is the Caddy which competes with the likes of the Ford Transit Connect and Fiat Doblo (Ram Promaster City). Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  10. Volkswagen is looking towards vans and a possible pickup as way to bolster its U.S. lineup and become something other than a niche player in the marketplace. Bloomberg reports that Volkswagen's head of the light commercial vehicle unit, Eckhard Scholz said the company is investigating whether or not to send some of their vans and possibly the Amarok - the only pickup VW builds at the moment - to the U.S. “Pickup trucks are a dominating segment,” while there’s also a trend in the U.S. toward compact European vans, Scholz said. “We’re looking at both options intensively.” Now if this sounds familiar, Volkswagen of America CEO said something similar back in January. Michael Horn told Automotive News the company was looking into bringing a van over - be it the large Crafter van or small Caddy. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  11. PickupTrucks.com is reporting that General Motors will be quietly dropping the light-duty full-size vans in the 2015 model year. That means the only vans you can buy at a Chevrolet or GMC dealer will be the 2500, 3500 and 4500 versions. GM sales spokesman Jim Cain said the 1500 models only made up 23 percent of the Chevrolet Express and 7 percent of the GMC Savana. "We recognize that the van space has changed radically. The 1500-series van was the last vehicle [of its type] that has been produced in North America that was under 8,500 pounds, and it had some very unique attributes to it," said Joe Langhauser, product manager for GM's full-size vans. GM isn't worried about the customers who bought the 1500. Langhauser said that buyers could either move up to the 2500 or go with something smaller like the City Express, due out in the 2015 model year. When asked about the 1500 model returning, Langhauser said it was possible. Source: PickupTrucks.com William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  12. As the group of journalists were finishing up lunch and listening to closing statements of a presentation, the thoughts of many turned to what they would like to get their hands on next. Would it be the Jaguar F-Type? Maybe the Corvette Stingray? How about the SRT Viper? Yours truly had this same thought as well, but it wasn't towards to any of those vehicles mentioned. Instead, what I had my eye on was a yellow vehicle with NYC taxi graphics. Yep, I had my sights set on the Nissan NV200 Taxi. Trying to figure why I would want to drive a taxi cab of all things when there is a multitude of other vehicles that many would say are much more desirable could take years to figure out, so lets skip that and talk about the vehicle itself. The NV200 Taxi is a fully functional taxi cab with such items as the bright yellow paint, lights on the roof, the divider between the front and back, and other details. Sitting in the back is alright with loads of head and legroom. There's also enough space for a wheelchair fit back here (the NV200 has an integrated ramp to allow one to enter). As for the driver, controls are logically laid out and the front seat is pretty comfortable. Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder with 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque, mated to a CVT. On city roads, the engine is more than plenty to get up to such speeds as 25 to 35 MPH. On the country roads of Elkhart Lake, the engine really had to pushed to get up to speed (55 MPH) and the CVT didn't really help matters as the drone would come in. Ride quality is really good. The NV200 Taxi's suspension setup soaks up bumps and ruts to make the trip feel somewhat relaxed. The same cannot be said when you take it into corner as the NV200 Taxi has the handling characteristics of a plat of Jello. If your taxi driver decides to a turn a little too quickly in the NV200 Taxi, hold on to dear life. Whether or not the NV200 Taxi becomes commonplace on New York streets remains to be seen. But Nissan has interesting option for those taxi operators who want something a bit versatile. Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the NV200 Taxi for the MAMA Spring Rally Year: 2014 Make: Nissan Model: NV200 Taxi Trim: N/A Engine: 2.0L Four-Cylinder Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 131 @ 5,200 Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 4,800 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/26/24 Curb Weight: N/A Location of Manufacture: Civac, Mexico Base Price: $29,700 As Tested Price: $30,560 (Includes $860.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  13. SEMA isn't the likely place for an automaker to introduce a new model, but Mercedes-Benz chose the aftermarket show to reveal the the North American versions of its new V-Class vans. For North America, the V-Class will be called the Metris and it will go sale next fall in cargo and passenger van models. Mercedes didn't go into any details about the Metris, but did talk about the four conceptual models that are sitting on the show floor. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro Shop - Golf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van - Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck - Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. RENNtech: Party/DJ Van - A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. "We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015. It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA "Mission Metris" presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate 'Mercedes-Benz Metris' and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. Source: Mercedes-Benz William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Mission Metris: A First Glimpse at the New Midsize Van from Mercedes-Benz at SEMA 2014 “Mission Metris” is a showcase of 4 midsize project vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas M-B Vans enters the US commercial midsize van segment in fall 2015, offering both passenger and cargo versions without any competitors in the same size category Introduction of the “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada Pricing and specifications to be announced in 2015 Sprinter large commercial van sales are up 17.3% YTD in 2014 in the US, the second largest global vans market for Mercedes-Benz MY2015 Sprinter enhancements include optional 4×4 (Q1/2015 intro) and super high roof, and standard equipment now includes Crosswind Assist on 2500 models and extended service intervals up to 20,000 miles Fuel-efficient 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain has a 50% take rate. 75% of all M-B Sprinter vans are upfitted Mercedes-Benz Vans USA is introducing “Mission Metris,” a showcase of 4 new midsize Project Vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas. Designed to be a first glimpse at the new midsize commercial van entry into the US and Canada in fall 2015 for customers and upfitters alike, production versions of the cargo and passenger versions will be shown at a later date in 2015. This occasion also marks the introduction of the new “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada, whereas “Vito” will remain the midsize commercial van nameplate for all other global markets. “We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015,” said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. "It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA “Mission Metris” presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate ‘Mercedes-Benz Metris’ and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety." Representatives from Mercedes-Benz and the following companies will be on hand to showcase their respective creative concepts: RENNtech: Party/DJ Van A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro ShopGolf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. In the US large van segment, Sprinter sales continue to be brisk, up 17.3% YTD. Model year 2014 brought new major enhancements such as a fresh and confident new front end exterior design, 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain that already plays a similar role as its big brother, the V6, and upgrades of safety and infotainment. Model year 2015 is even more exciting, with the addition of standard Crosswind Assist on all 2500 models and increased service intervals of up to 20,000 miles (MY 2014 service intervals were up to 15,000 miles). An optional Sprinter 4×4 version of both cargo and passenger versions will also be added in Q1/2015, which will be the only ex-factory four-wheel drive system on the market for a commercial van in the USA. In addition to that, the option for a super high roof underlines the benchmark position concerning interior heights by offering an interior roof height of up to 7 feet. And the SULEV option for our standard 4-cylinder BlueTEC engine is the first SULEV diesel engine worldwide and underlines our ‘Green Leadership.’ All of these features highlight the position of the Sprinter as the most innovative large van in the segment. Independent from the model year, up to 75% of all Sprinters have upfitter treatment on them, regardless of extra shelving or extensive Recreational Vehicle modifications. View full article
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 6, 2012 Ford is making some big waves today in the van market. At a event today in Amsterdam, Ford unveiled the new Transit and Transit Connect. We'll begin with the 2014 Transit Connect. Ford has really done a good job of bringing Connect in line with their new design language. Up front, the Transit Connect wears a trapezoidal grille smaller, sleeker headlamps, and more pronounced foglamps. The back features slimmer taillights and a tailgate. No word whether the barn doors on the current Connect will be available. Ford is staying quiet on what will be the powertrain lineup will be, but has said the European model will receive "highly-efficient downsized diesel and petrol engines," while in the U.S., we'll get "a tailored range of gasoline powertrains." The 2014 Transit Connect arrives in late 2013. And it's bigger brother Ford also revealed the new Transit which will take the place of the E-Series van here in the U.S. The Transit will come variety of body styles, incorporating both short and long wheelbases, as well as standard- and tall-roof models for both Europe and the U.S. For Europe, the Transit will be available in front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive and use Ford's 2.2L Duratorq TDCi diesel inline-four. For the U.S., we will only get rear-wheel drive. Engines will include a "powerful diesel option" and Ford's 3.5L EcoBoost V6. The new Transit arrives in late 2013. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 3 Ford Reveals All-New Global Transit and Transit Connect Commercial Vehicles at 'Go Further' Event • Ford unveils its new generation of Transit commercial vehicles, developed on all-new global platforms for sale in Europe, North America and other worldwide markets • Tough, functional and professional, the all-new Ford Transit brings a new level of capability and versatility to the medium commercial van market; it replaces the heavier two-tonne Transit in Europe and worldwide markets, and replaces the E-Series in North America • Stylish all-new Ford Transit Connect delivers outstanding performance across load carrying ability, dependability and fuel economy, for a best-in-class cost of ownership package AMSTERDAM, Sept. 6, 2012 – Ford today revealed a new generation of world-class Transit commercial vehicles at its "Go Further" event. Developed under its "One Ford" global product strategy in Europe, the Ford Transit and Ford Transit Connect models will be sold in Europe, North America and other worldwide markets, with product ranges tailored to the needs of customers in each region. "These new products will carry more, work harder, last longer, and cost our customers less to operate – just as Ford Transits have done for 47 years," said Barb Samardzich, vice president Product Development, Ford of Europe. "The unprecedented launch of two all-new Transit models will extend Ford's leadership in serving commercial vehicle customers around the world." The introduction of the new generation Transit and Transit Connect models is a major step in Ford's commitment to completely redesign its entire commercial vehicle line-up for Europe by the end of 2013. Using the latest global platforms, the two models highlight Ford's new approach to delivering the next generation of class-leading commercial vehicles to meet the needs of customers in all worldwide markets. The new range builds on almost 50 years of experience in creating market-leading commercial vans and was engineered at Ford's Centre of Excellence for commercial vehicles in Europe; applying global product development resources. The all-new Ford Transit replaces the heavier two-tonne Transit derivatives in Europe and other worldwide markets, and will eventually replace the popular Ford E-Series range in North America. Tough, functional and professional, new Transit brings new levels of capability and versatility to the medium commercial van market. Offering a comprehensive range of body styles and derivatives, with multiple wheelbases, roof heights and new chassis cowl versions, all-new and more capable Transit is tailored to the needs of key worldwide markets. For Europe, a full range of Transit bodystyles and derivatives, offering front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, will be powered by the latest 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel. In North America, customers can choose from several engines, including the proven 3.5-litre EcoBoost or a powerful diesel option; each features rear-wheel drive and at least 25 percent better fuel economy than a comparable E-Series. Multiple roof heights and wheelbases will be available. North American Transit vans will be manufactured in Kansas City, alongside the Ford F-150. The stylish all-new Ford Transit Connect will deliver new standards for the sub-one-tonne segment for load-carrying ability, cost of ownership and dependability. Available in a choice of short and long wheelbase versions, the new Transit Connect will offer European and North American customers the most flexible and functional loadbox in the segment, with a host of innovative features to enhance everyday productivity. Transit Connect features the latest low-CO2 powertrain technologies to deliver best-in-class fuel economy in all of its target markets. In Europe, the engine line-up will include highly-efficient downsized diesel and petrol engines, while the U.S. market will benefit from a tailored range of gasoline powertrains. The new model has a stylish cockpit with car-like design and craftsmanship, and offers the latest Ford interior technologies and driver assistance features. The Ford Transit brand has established a legendary reputation for toughness and dependability, and the new global Transit products have been engineered to extend that tradition. Both the all-new Transit and all-new Transit Connect have been subjected to Ford's ultra-stringent commercial vehicle testing and durability standards, covering millions of miles of arduous testing in laboratories, at proving grounds and on customer fleets. "Our new global Ford Transit products will be totally fit for purpose," said Samardzich. "These are the strongest, most capable and most efficient commercial vans we have ever built – this is the start of a new chapter in the Transit success story." In Europe, deliveries of the all-new Transit and Transit Connect are due to start by the end of 2013. The two new global models join the Transit Custom in Ford's renewed commercial vehicle line-up for Europe. Targeting the one-tonne market, the all-new Transit Custom is now on sale across European markets. It will not be introduced in North America but will be launched in other selected other global markets later. View full article

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