Bluemotion low-CO2 tech heading for VW vans
02 December 2008
VW has confirmed the Bluemotion low-CO2 branding will be extended to cover its commercial vehicle range within 18 months.
The Caddy van will be first to benefit from features that will include altered gear ratios, lowered height, new front grille, low rolling-resistance and restricted options to save weight.
Production is currently scheduled for mid-2010, but VW UK's Caddy product manager Gemma Cox said negotiation are ongoing with the factory to bring that date forward.
The Caddy will start the range, but Cox also confirmed VW is looking at whether a Bluemotion Transporter would work. "With Bluemotion originating in the car range, we need to look at whether that's the right way to develop the commercial vehicle range," she told BusinessCar.
Cutting van CO2 is becoming pressing as suspicion mounts that commercial vehicle CO2 testing and therefore taxation based on emissions might not be too far away.
"I don't think there's any doubt that the Government is going for the low-hanging fruit," said VW CV boss Simon Elliott. "We're lobbying for a fair and equitable way of taxing on CO2.
"People buying our vehicles are buying for business reasons. A system has to be fair and equitable otherwise it's just another tax on business and that's not palatable."
Elliott said VW's work to maintain RVs and increase the brand prestige on its CV range will pay dividends in what will be a difficult 2009.
"Our problem in the fleet world is deciding what business we do and don't want to do," he said. "That doesn't mean we won't take the opportunity to take new business as it's offered to us and we're already talking to a significant number of people we've not done business with before.
"We're having conversations with lost of customers asking if we want to do more business in 2009. They appreciate what we're doing to try and protect RVs and the brand, and they've had trouble recently disposing of products where the brand has been distressed."