Fiat Professional at the 63rd Hanover International Motor Show


The 63rd edition of the Hanover International Motor Show, the most important commercial and industrial vehicle show in Europe, is due to take place from 23 to 30 September. The event will attract professional drivers and major sector manufacturers to the German city. These will include Fiat Group Automobiles with its Fiat Professional brand. This has always played a prominent role in the sale of light commercial vehicles on the German market as the leading import brand.

Fiat Professional is exhibiting 11 vehicles at the show. These represent the widest LCV range currently present on the market (including vans derived from cars, the Strada, the Fiorino the new Doblò Cargo, the Scudo and the Ducato Maxi) and also constitute the most eco-friendly range (no fewer than 6 models are marketed with a methane fuel system as original equipment). The vehicles are housed on a stand that extends for more than 1000 square metres and confirms Fiat Professional’s commitment to sustainable mobility. This commitment constitutes a fundamental force for the brand, driving the creation and ongoing improvement of its products. The line-up at the German show therefore includes the 3 most significant vehicles in the Natural Power range – the Ducato, the Fiorino and the new dual fuel petrol/methane Doblò – models that have contributed to the excellent results so far achieved in this market (approximately 14,700 CNG vehicle registrations during the first half of 2010).

Fiat Professional’s commitment, always targeted at the true needs of its professional customers, has now achieved a step forward in emission reduction with its new eco:Drive for commercial vehicles. This device, the only one of its kind, allows vehicle journey data to be analysed at work in order to suggest more appropriate behaviour for an economic and sustainable drive. Visitors to the Hanover show will be able to see the world premiere of a special version of the software developed specifically for commercial vehicles: eco:Drive Professional. This system, available from October on the Ducato and New Doblò, is distinctive because it includes variables typical of an LCV: from the load carried to the different front area, if the vehicle has been converted. The innovative eco:Drive Professional will be introduced at the show by means of a simulator installed on board a New Doblò short wheelbase panel van equipped with a 90 HP 1.3 Multijet Euro 5 engine. This vehicle is also equipped with Start&Stop, a system that temporarily turns off the engine and then restarts it again when the engine idles with the vehicle at a standstill, allowing an average fuel consumption reduction of up to 12% over an urban cycle.

The star of the exhibition area is the new Doblò Cargo, the model that achieved a target of one million units produced, including both the commercial vehicle versions and the multi-space car. The new Doblò oozes innovation, beginning with its chassis, which has made it possible to develop the first vehicle in the small van segment that is endowed with a load volume and payload typical of higher segments despite its compact dimensions. It is also thrifty on fuel and eco-friendly. These attributes have allowed the new Doblò Cargo to take its place as the first and only vehicle in its category to mark a genuine departure from car-derived models. This vehicle was developed from the design stage to be a commercial vehicle with full credentials, not simply a small van but a proper LCV that can be adapted to all working missions and different types of outfit. Visitors to the Hanover show will be able to see the world premiere of the new truck and refrigerated chamber versions, both built on a long wheelbase drop frame with a 1.6 Multijet Euro 5 engine.

The German show will also offer a chance to see the new Doblò Van (short wheelbase, 1.6 Multijet Euro 5), created as part of a joint venture between Fiat Professional, Vergnano coffee and the body builder Mobitecno. With its distinctive black livery bearing the logo of the famous Italian coffee brand, the vehicle is a veritable mobile cafe, equipped with a state-of-the-art high-tech coffee machine that can be used to prepare hot drinks for visitors to the stand. A roomy refrigerator for cool drinks and a mobile power generator are also housed inside the vehicle’s large load compartment, together with all the consumables required to prepare the drinks (sugar, coffee and cups).

The spotlights at the German show will also be on the Fiorino, a one-off vehicle that was developed to meet the needs of customers seeking a compact van with economical running costs that is nimble in traffic and easy to handle when parking. In addition to the Natural Power version mentioned previously, the new model is also available in the new Cargo Adventure version powered by a 95 HP 1.3 Multijet Euro 5 engine equipped with “Traction+”, an innovative system that increases vehicle traction over difficult ground with low grip.
Another leading player is the Ducato, on show in two configurations: a medium-wheelbase, high-top Panel Van (11.5 m3 of volume) equipped with the 136 HP 3.0 Natural Power engine and a medium-long wheelbase Chassis Cab with the top-of-the-range engine: the 160 Multijet Power offering 157 HP and 400 Nm of torque that is outstanding for its great driving satisfaction, extraordinary flexibility, consistent responsiveness to power demands and ultra-low noise levels.

Two of the vehicles on show have also been converted by Sortimo – a New Doblò and a Scudo, representing some of the innumerable Fiat Professional vehicle conversion options: mobile workshops, vehicles with boxes, insulated vehicles and vehicles with a refrigerated chamber. This is a continually growing sector: suffice to say that one out of three commercial vehicles in Europe undergoes conversion. In particular, the short wheelbase high-top Doblò Panel Van is equipped with the powerful 1.6 Multijet (Euro 5) and is kitted out as a mobile workshop.

The second converted vehicle is a Scudo with the brand-new 2.0 165 Multijet engine (Euro 5) and the VitaMo system featuring revolving seats and tables that allow the creation of innumerable internal layouts as required, with high standards of comfort and safety for passengers.

The Hanover Motor Show is the right opportunity to discover future new products and also the models that have completely revitalised the Fiat Professional range: an array of products that have always interpreted customers’ needs by being updated in line with user expectations. Apart from anything else, herein lies the secret of the success achieved by Fiat Professional over recent years, despite the current difficult market conditions. From 2005 to 2009, our share of the segment of commercial vehicles up to 3.5t increased by approximately two and a half points in Europe, rising from 10.4% to 12.8%, thus confirming our status as the Brand showing most growth in this period. The share achieved by Fiat Professional during the first half of 2010 is even more significant: 13.7%, with a 0.4 point increase compared to the same period in 2009. The result achieved in the small vans sector is even more pronounced: an impressive 2.6 point increase in market share at European level.

These results have allowed Fiat Professional to rise by two places in the European ranking, taking a firm second place in the LCV brand league table, despite the fact that the New Doblò has not yet achieved its full sales potential. In a market that is still unsure of itself, the brand nevertheless continues to face new challenges with a full professional approach that is borne out by an exclusive network of 800 dealers, spaces and people dedicated to the LCV and specific sales and service standards (courtesy cars, dedicated ramps, specialist technicians and so on).

Source: Fiat (press release/media site)