New van, new options and new markets
Citroën, Peugeot and Toyota recently launched the replacement for the Citroën Jumpy/Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Toyota Proace, built in a joint venture at the Sevel Nord plant near Valenciennes in northern France.
The result is a new product in a range of sizes and body styles, based on the PSA EMP2 platform, launched in 2013 and used for a range of Citroën, Peugeot and DS car models. The departure from the previous model, based on the original version launched in 1993, opens up a range of possibilities for the new vehicle.
The outgoing model featured both passenger and LCV variants, but there are now more variations than before, the result of dropping the high roof models that featured in the previous range;
“We prefer to switch to three different lengths to add the Compact version, because it makes more sense,” says Sylvain Champomier, international K0 product manager for PSA – K0 is the product code for the new vehicle. “It should attract more customers than the high-roof version.”
The platform cab variant is being retained. As Champomier explains, this is because it was popular for refrigerated conversions, but there are more models than before too. “Now we have a large range of crew cabs. We are ready for customer crew cab versions because sales are increasing, so now we will have two different kinds of offer. We have standard crew cabs with a fixed partition wall, with different grades. We have a high grade, which really looks like a passenger car when you are sitting at the back. We also have a folding partition wall, so you can mix. If you need to have six people in the vehicle, you have a bench seat, but if you need more cargo space, you can fold it away and you have up to 5.5m3 of volume. It’s made in the plant and we are also expanding the passenger range.
“Today we have now added all the range of the Citroën Spacetourer and Peugeot Traveller, for shuttle customers and families, as we have both customers, especially for fleets of shuttles, cabs and so on. It will be good to attract new customers that we couldn’t address with the previous range.”
Models will offer up to nine seats. Three different body lengths open up new opportunities for the range. “The starting point was to come back into the core market,” says Champomier, “All the competitors are between 4.9 and 5.0m in length for the standard versions and they have a long version – above 5.3m. We wanted to have two versions really in line with these two core markets. This was the starting point. We have the N (standard) and the XL (extra long) versions and we added the Compact because we think more and more customers are only using their vehicles in city centres with many traffic jams, where it’s very difficult to park.
Compact for urban use
“With our Compact version we have 5m3 body volume with 1.4 tonnes of payload and 2.5-tonnes of towing capacity, but with 35cm less length than what you find on the market today. So it’s easier to park.” The height is limited to 1.9m. Champomier says that the medium and compact length models will all fit in underground car parks. “We think that with the increase of ecommerce we really have the opportunity to attract the people who don’t have a middle sized van, where a small van is too small – it doesn’t have the payload they want and they don’t want a big van, so we think we have a key point with the compact version.”
PSA’s core business is in Western Europe and it is unlikely that the company will seek new markets for the new van in Europe. “But we will have offers which are better adapted to the needs of the different countries. Cabs for example for the UK and some other countries. We have a partition wall which is thermally insulated and for some countries it is important to have this,” says Champomier.
“We have ambitions to expand our international coverage of the markets. So we are starting with the same market coverage as the previous model, but we are planning to improve our position in the Russian market especially, where we see that there is an increase in demand for this kind of van and passenger version. We would also like to increase our presence in South America. We are selling some Dispatch/Jumpy and
Expert in South America, but we really want to strengthen our position there.” Champomier would not rule out other markets in future either.
The previous models were available in around 200 body styles, but with the new model this will increase to around 600 options.
Not surprisingly total cost of ownership has been a focus with the new model. “We know that most of the fleets are focussed on TCO,” says Champomier. To reduce it, the new vehicle is designed to use less fuel.
“We have also reduced the cost of repairing the vehicle and we have also improved quality, so that after three years of use, quality is at the best ever. That’s to improve our residual values and to be at the best ever for TCO.”
There are no electric variants of the vehicle from launch, but that could change, “We are now thinking of having an electric version,” explains Champomier, “But at the moment we don’t have all the information concerning the restrictions in Europe and overseas, so we see different scenarios around the possibilities of a range extender, PHEV or EV. We are waiting for more information to select the best solution. Today is too early to go for one solution then after one year to learn that it was not the right decision. We prefer to take our time and to have all the data to hand to make the best choice.”
The Dispatch/Jumpy and Expert offer a range of driver assistance systems including an option for hands free side sliding door opening, cruise control setting from the speed sign recognition system and a range of telematics options.