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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have released figures that show an increase in UK commercial vehicle production in April this year.

An increase of 23.6% over this period last year has bought commercial vehicle manufacturing numbers up to 50.1% vehicles manufactured for export.

The volumes of exports have increased as rising demand for more commercial vehicles rises across the UK and Europe. Commercial vehicle registrations have risen by 13% across the EU so far this year.

CV manufacturing statistics

Mike Hawes SMMT Chief Executive has stated, "These figures are further evidence that commercial vehicle manufacturing in the UK has turned a corner after a period of restructuring, April’s significant rise in exports is particularly encouraging, as the industry capitalises on increasing demand for vans, trucks and buses across Europe."

The DRIVEit@ event is taking place on 7th - 9th July at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire.

It is free to attend and has been described by the event director Rob James as unique and one of a kind. this is due to the fact that the event is not your traditional 'static' event.

DRIVEit@ Event

The Proving Ground venue includes more than six miles of test routes where visitors are offered the chance to test all of the LCVs on show. The test routes range from simulated town driving, motorway use, driving over rough terrain and an off-road course designed for testing 4X4 vans and pick-ups.

So far there have been 13 LCV manufacturers confirmed to be attending the event including; Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Vauxhall, Isuzu, Renault, Peugeot, Fiat and Citroen. Attendees are being offered the chance to drive a variety of LCVs; from small car based vans up to 7.5 tonne vehicles.

If you are hoping to attend the even you can pre-register for free tickets at



Mercedes-Benz have announced that they will be making some changes to their Citan van and MPV ranges.

Mercedes-Benz Citan Van

Focusing mainly on making their engines Euro 6 compliant the new MPV Citan Tourer (formerly Traveliner) will now meet the emissions standards for Euro 6 compliance with van buyers being offered this as a purchase option.

The Tourer models are now coming with the BlueEfficiency engine package as standard. This package includes improved fuel consumption thanks to it's Eco stop/start function, interestingly the Euro 6 compliant engines have an increased torque of around 15lbft, giving a noticeable increase in pulling-power of around 10%. The engine power outputs remain at between 74bhp - 109bhp.

There are some extra options that the 'long' Tourer can make use of; a panoramic roof with tilting skylights, and a new navigational system which is based around a 3.5" touchscreen with DAB+ radio.

Another useful addition is a reversing camera where the reversing image is shown on the interior mirror.

The new Citans are expected to be made available from Q4 2015.

The new sixth generation Volkswagen Transporter has been unveiled in Amsterdam.

Due to be released in the UK later this year the new Volkswagen Transporter T6 was shown off in its Shuttle minibus, Caravelle MPV and panel van variations.

The new Volkswagen T6 and the T1

This new vehicle is beginning to blur the lines between van and car and is sporting the same VW design language that we can currently see influencing VW’s passenger cars.

Updated with technical features that would make most vehicles jealous by comparison the T6 is looking set to offer improved comfort, better safety features (more on these later) and a better driving dynamic alongside better fuel economy.

Safety is one of the main points of interest with this new offering from VW; with features such as the new Driver Alert System that can detect any deviations from normal driving behaviour and recommends the driver takes a break. Another feature is Front Assist where a front mounted radar paired with an area monitoring system recognises critical distances in front of the vehicle and helps to shorten stopping distances.

Another added feature is Adaptive Cruise control (ACC), this measures the distance to the vehicle in front and its relative speed, this system when paired with Front Assist offers an City Emergency Braking where under low speeds (under 30 km/h – 19 mph) the vehicle will stop if the drive does not see an obstacle that may hit the vehicle. A great addition for those who regularly drive in dense city traffic.

The new California, Shuttle and Caravelle models will all come with Euro 6 compliant powerplants, at the moment the Transporter van has the Euro 5 compliant unit.

The 2.0 litre diesel engines themselves are varied, with an 83bhp entry-level engine ranging up to a top range of 201bhp being offered – Volkswagen are claiming that these new 2.0-litre TDI units are up to 15% more efficient than those in the current generation T5 Transporters.

At the moment no pricing structures have been released.

Volkswagen have set pulses racing with the release of a concept sketch for their next generation Transporter model the T6.

This will be the sixth-generation of vehicle released as part of the Transporter range and is looking set to follow in the footsteps of it's predecessor the Transporter T5.

Paying homage to it's heritage this new vehicle is looking to be an evolutionary release rather than evolutionary. The teaser sketch released by Volkswagen shows the rear profile of the vehicle and reveals that the T6 will be adopting the 'family look' that the previous generations have sported.

 Volkswagen Transporter T6 teaser sketch

The Transporter line dates back over half a century to the 1950's when the first generation T1 was released, since then over 11 million vehicles from the Transporter line have been sold worldwide making the Transporters some of the best-selling and well known light commercial vehicles on the market.

Towards the end of last year Volkswagen released images of their VW Tristar concept vehicle, interestingly there are similarities between the Tristar and this new T6 teaser image.

Showing off the well known sharp lines and neatly-designed tail lights that Volkswagen have become known for, the teaser sketch is showing some of the same styling that we loved from the Tristar.

Even though this is the sixth installment into this range Volkswagen has stated that, "getting the job done efficiently and reliably" is at the core of their Transporter range and this ethos will continue into the T6.

The vehicle is expected to be unveiled in full on the 15th April 2015 with a release date further on in the year. We'll have more information for this new vehicle once it is released.