Lifestyle Guides

Commercial Vehicle Show 2019 highlights

The annual CV Show at the NEC Birmingham is the biggest road transport and commercial vehicle event held in Britain.


The show attracts some 21,000 business visitors and provides a showcase for the latest vans, pick-ups, trucks, and much more. From tyre, telematics and training providers to fuel and lubricants suppliers, there's something for everyone.

One in 10 workers in the UK depends on a van for their work (that's a total of 3.4 million people), and for those that made it to the show, it was a chance to catch up with the latest launches and trends driving the commercial vehicle business.

Here are a few highlights...

Viva Vivaro


The all-new Vivaro medium-sized van took pride of place on the Vauxhall stand. Built in Britain at its Luton manufacturing plant, the Vivaro shares its platform with the Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Toyota Proace.

Priced from £22,918.33 (excluding VAT), three body styles are available, including a panel van, crew cab and a platform chassis, and there will be both short and long-wheelbase models. It's powered by a choice of efficient 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines, has a payload of up to 1,489kg, a towing capacity of 2,500kg and is packed with technology.

Powerful pick-ups


Ford, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Isuzu and SsangYong were among the big brands showing off their latest pick-up trucks. Mitsubishi and Ford both had beefed-up versions of their popular offerings in the shape of the Ranger Raptor (pictured) and Shogun Sport SVP Concept. Developed by Ford Performance, the Raptor is billed as "Europe’s first-ever factory-built, off-road performance pick-up truck".

Priced from £40,696 before VAT, it's powered by a 210bhp 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine to ensure optimum performance in any conditions and there are six different modes – two for on-road use and four for off-road driving.

Check out our guide to Britain’s most popular vans and pick-ups.

Suffering in silence


Supporting and improving the mental health of commercial vehicle drivers is the focus of new campaign 'Driving Better Mental Health'. Backed by leading road safety scheme How’s My Driving?, the National Recruitment Line and Karoma, it tackles the very real issues of loneliness and social isolation.

The need for awareness of both the physical and mental health of drivers is something the industry has long been talking about. The new campaign aims to change this by offering drivers the opportunity to connect with others in their community over a short game of chess.

5asideCHESS can be enjoyed by experienced players and novices alike, and a 5asideCHESS team is currently part-way through a year-long UK tour using the Battling Suicide Bus, promoting chess as a simple and effective way to get people chatting again.

Electrifying electric van


If there was one theme at the CV Show 2019, it was the growing importance of zero emissions transport. Both DAF and MAN had electric trucks on show, while Peugeot, Citroen, LDV and Volkswagen all featured electric versions of their vans.

Meanwhile, market-leader Ford also has an electrification strategy with mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions of its vans in the pipeline. Ford had its plug-in hybrid Transit Custom on stand, alongside the new EcoBlue hybrid Transit.

Volkswagen had the upcoming e-Crafter, e-Caddy and e-Transporter vans, while PSA Group – the parent company of Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall – announced details of its electric range with its largest vans – the Peugeot Boxer (pictured) and Citroen Relay – getting a fully electric option with up to 169 miles of range.

Take a look at our guide for more on the pros and cons of electric vans.

Toyota Proace: city slicker


Toyota has unveiled the new Proace City van. Developed alongside the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo, it's available in two different lengths (4.4m and 4.7m). Both can be specified with three front seats, and as a panel or glass van, while the long version is also available as a crew cab. There's a choice of petrol and diesel engines, plus five or six-speed manual, or eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Safety features include autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard, plus Road Sign Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Cruise Control and a “coffee cup warning” that recommends the driver takes a break if they have spent a long time at the wheel. Load capacity ranges from 3,300 to 4,300 litres.

Two-tonne Transit


The new two-tonne version of Britain's best-selling van was among the stars on the Ford stand. The new Transit features a refreshed look, increased storage space, advanced connectivity, hybrid technology and a 10-speed automatic gearbox option from 2020. As usual, there will be panel van, crew cab, tipper and chassis cab versions of the Transit available.

Other new features include a high-mounted LED downlighter to illuminate a workspace behind the vehicle. And for the first time, Transit drivers will be able to choose from Selectable Drive Modes to match driving performance to conditions: Eco Mode, Slippery Mode, Mud/Rut Mode for all-wheel-drive models and Tow/Haul Mode for smooth power delivery when towing large trailers or boats that weigh more than the vehicle kerb weight.

LDV EV30: made in China


LDV launched its affordable EV30 small electric van, a rival to the Renault Kangoo ZE and Nissan e-NV200. Built in China, it boasts a range of up to 200 miles on a single charge and will be offered in short and long wheelbase, the latter of which provides a 1,000kg payload and 6,300 litres of load space.

Sister van to the larger EV80, it's due to arrive in the UK in 2020 and will cost around £22,000 (excluding VAT). The EV30 will be backed by a five-year/60,000 mile warranty (including five-year roadside cover).

Birthday celebration


The Road Haulage Association celebrated its 75th Anniversary at the Commercial Vehicle Show 2019. Visitors to the stand were invited to take a trip down memory lane, to discover just how much the road haulage industry has changed over the last 75 years and how the RHA has kept up with these changes to remain a leading support to the commercial vehicle industry. A classic Bedford truck (pictured) took pride of place on the RHA stand.

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