New Crafter and Amarok facelift due as VW vans aims to top record 2015

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles sold a record 47,739 units in 2015 and will have a completely refreshed range by 2017

VW Transporter Highline

After launching the new Caddy and Transporter vans in what proved to be a record 2015 for VW’s light commercial vehicle operation, the focus is now on building upon that success in 2016 and beyond. 

VW Commercial Vehicles’ 2015 was a 7.8% improvement on 2014 with a total of nearly 48,000 vans sold. The marque held second place in the UK LCV market with an 11.6% share trailing only the huge 26% chunk of number one brand Ford.

The 4th generation Caddy and the Transporter T6 ranges will both have their first full year on sale in 2016 with the Caddy range having already swelled with the addition of the 1.2 and 1.4 TSI petrol engines that weren’t originally earmarked for sale in the UK. 

Best panel vans to buy now

Carl Zu Dohna, VW Commercial Vehicles’ UK brand director, said: "we've added the petrol engine to the Caddy range for customers in cities who don't need a diesel and for buyers of wheelchair accessible versions of the Caddy who also usually cover smaller mileages in town."

The Transporter range, meanwhile, is now almost fully available with the Caravelle people carrier and California motorhome having arrived. The up spec Sportline models will arrive in the summer to complete the line-up. Special versions of both the Caddy and Transporter are set to preview future possibilities for these models at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Amarok facelift and new Crafter

As the roll-out of the Transporter and Caddy continues, 2016 will also see the second half of VW’s range renewal process get underway. We’ll see the facelifted Amarok pick-up soon, before it hits dealers towards the end of the year. And the all-new Crafter will make its debut at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Hanover this September before hitting dealers in 2017. 

The new Crafter will be built at VW’s new factory in Wrzesnia, Poland, and, with the platform sharing deal that saw the current Crafter run on the same chassis as the Mercedes Sprinter coming to an end, it’ll share a production line with a new heavy-duty panel van from another VW group brand, MAN Trucks that’s also destined for the ever-expanding UK van market.

VW emissions scandal impact on vans

The Volkswagen emissions scandal hasn’t left the van range untouched and VW has announced that there is now an approved fix for the previous generation Euro5 VW Caddy vans affected. These vehicles need a software update and a new airflow transformer, a process that VW is contacting its customers to arrange. For the 2,000 early VW Amarok models also affected by the emissions scandal, a 30min software update is all that’s required.

Future hybrid vans possible but not planned

Looking further into the future. VW has looked at hybrid powertrains in its vans but has no plans for production versions. Carl Zu Dohna explained that, “we’ve tested Caddy prototypes with hybrid powertrains but any production version would only become possible if customer demand materialises”. “The beauty of being part of the VW Group is that the technology is there if we need it”.

Read more van news and reviews in the Auto Express van channel…

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