Fiat Professional at the Hanover International Motor Show 2008
The 62nd edition of the Hanover International Motor Show will be held from 25th September to 2nd October 2008; the Hanover event is the most important European motor show for trucks and commercial vehicles. The event will gather together in the German city professionals and major vehicle manufacturers of the sector. The vehicle manufacturers participating will include Fiat Group Automobiles with the Fiat Professional brand that has always played a significant role in the sales of light commercial vehicles on the German market, since it is the largest importing brand.
Fiat Professional has a spacious stand at the Hanover event divided into three areas: the first area is denominated "100% Professional" and presents the full vehicle range dedicated to the world of work and passenger transport: from the new Fiorino to the Ducato, from the Doblò Cargo to the Scudo, up to the Fiat Strada Pick Up. The second area is denominated "100% Professional Green" and illustrates to the general public Fiat Professional's commitment in the field of environmental protection and sustainable mobility. The third area hosts a number of commercial vehicles fitted out by leading bodybuilders in the transformation sector and designed for specific major customers.
"100% Professional": the ideal solution for every professional need
Eight vehicles are on display, all identified externally by a light grey coloured bodywork and by the "100% Professional" sticker, while, in the interior, vehicles have seats covered with technical fabric and leather, in addition to special black rubber carpets with a leather edging.
The major player in this area is the new Fiorino, a unique vehicle of its kind designed to meet the needs of those requiring a compact van, economic to manage, nimble in traffic and easy to park. Therefore, the new Fiorino is designed to totally redefine the standards of the 1B segment and to play a major role in the light commercial vehicles market. Two versions of the new model are present at the international event (Combi and Cargo) equipped with the 1.3 Multijet 75 CV diesel engine that assures limited consumption (4.5 litres/100 km in the combined cycle, or a range of approximately 1,000 kilometres) and reduced operating costs (30,000 km or 24 months for the first service). In addition, the new generation 6-gear robotised gearbox called Comfort-matic is presented for the first time.
Another major player in the display area is the Ducato model exhibited in two configurations: a Maxi Panel Van, long wheelbase, high roof (volume: 13 m3) equipped with the 2.3 litre, 120 HP output engine complete with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and a 9-seater Panorama, medium wheelbase, high roof with the powerful 3 litre, 160 HP output engine. Both vehicles are equipped with the "Blue&MeTM Nav", a highly efficient pictogram navigation system that provides access to a series of simple, useful, telematic services at a competitive price. The system is characterised by easy to use features and provides hands-free operation with the Bluetooth® interface and advanced voice recognition, USB port, MP3 reader and an SMS interpreter. With this solution the driver can make/receive telephone calls and listen to music in a simple and safe way while driving. Furthermore, a "navigation kit" is available for the "Blue&MeTM Nav" including a USB pen with a stored map and a back-up CD that can be used to transfer the map to the personal MP3 readers. The navigation details are also available on the on-board display in the same way as the other information: the destination address, the pictograms of the direction to follow, the information on arrival, the points of interest, together with the traditional vocal support providing information at the turning points reproduced via the speakers. Therefore, an innovative content package that further enhances the new Fiat Ducato, the successor of a winning model (almost two million vehicles have been sold throughout the world from 1981 up to the present-day) that is confirmed once again as the top ranking model of its category. The merit goes to the distinctive look, functionality, comfort and top-level performance, more generous telematic and safety features and reduced operating costs. Without considering the easy access to the loading area, the productivity and the payload. Therefore, the Fiat Ducato is an effective solution that meets all the professional and leisure transport needs.
The German show includes other models, in addition to the Ducato and Fiorino. Two models of the New Scudo are also on display. The first model is a long wheelbase Panel Van (with a volume of 6 cubic metres and a payload of 1,200 kg), while the second model is a version designed for passenger transport. In fact, this model is an 8-seat Panorama Executive equipped with the powerful 140 Multijet, 136 HP output engine with a torque of 320 Nm (complete with the particulate filter fitted as a standard feature). The new Scudo represents the best commercial interpretation of a vehicle that combines the features of a reliable, high capacity and functional work vehicle with the intrinsic features of a modern-day car, as is demonstrated by the excellent road handling, the highly enjoyable feel when driving and the generous standard features designed to ensure maximum on board safety and comfort.
The "100% Professional" area also has space for the short wheelbase Doblò Cargo (volume: 3.2 m3):this vehicle is among the top ranking vehicles of its category thanks to the easy access to the loading area, productivity and payload (with a 730kg and 850kg payload), but also in terms of comfort, ergonomics, low consumption and reduced operating costs. The vehicle is characterised by an external design that has the feeling of protective strength and an interior style that gives the environment a spacious and welcoming appearance. The vehicles on display also include an example of the Fiat Strada Pick Up (long cabin) equipped with the 1.3 Multijet, 85 HP engine.
"100% Professional Green": practical solutions to protect the environment
Two world previews: Ducato and Fiorino in the Natural Power version. These vehicles are the best example of how protecting the environment represents a fundamental commitment for Fiat Professional in the development of its models, together with all the Fiat Group Automobiles brands. Naturally, all the spotlights are focused on the newest Ducato "Natural Power" Van and on the other models which also have a dual natural gas-petrol fuel supply: Doblò the best seller (approximately 2,500 vehicles sold during the first 6 months of this year) and a working prototype of the Fiorino Combi. The German show is completed with an example of the Fiorino Cargo "Electric" by Micro-Vett, once again characterised by the environmental protection features.
All the vehicles on display in this "green" area are characterised by the "100% Professional Green" sticker affixed to the bodywork (the Ducato and Doblò have a metallic grey coloured livery, while the two versions of the Fiorino have a vivid metallic green livery). All the vehicles present original black upholstery interiors (jeans fabric and leather) and black "recycled" rubber carpets edged in leather.
Vehicles converted for major customers
Four vehicles on display at the Hannover event have been converted to represent the countless bodywork solutions available for the Fiat Professional vehicles: ranging from mobile workshops to vehicles with a rear load body, from insulated vehicles to vehicles fitted with a cold storage compartment. This sector is expanding continuously: suffice it to say that today already one vehicle in three is subjected to a bodywork conversion in the 2G and 2P segments, in Europe, where Fiat Professional is present with Ducato and Scudo models.
Messrs. Snoeks has produced a Ducato van (medium wheelbase, high roof, equipped with the 2.2 Multijet, 100 HP engine) in an "extended cabin" configuration. The vehicle is intended for the German armed forces and has a partition bulkhead and a rear bench to seat 3 persons, complete with headrest and safety belts. The second vehicle has been fitted out by SKF and is also based on the Ducato model and intended for the German Postal Service: this vehicle is a long wheelbase, high roof Van with a volume of 13 m3 and fitted with a 2.3 Multijet, 120 HP engine and has a special interior lining for the loading area with anchoring bars for 6 postal trolleys.
The Fiat Professional stand also has enough space for a short wheelbase Scudo Combi vehicle, equipped with the 2.0 Multijet, 140 HP engine and intended for the German Automobile Club (AVD) to provide Accident and Emergency services, as also demonstrated by the specific shelves manufactured by Messrs. Bott.
The German show is completed with a Doblò Cargo Maxi SX equipped with a 1.9 Multijet, 100 HP engine and converted by Winter Kühlfahrzeuge into a refrigerated van with an insulated loading area for temperatures as low as 2 degrees.
A year of commercial successes
Slightly over a year has passed since the new name/logo Fiat Professional was established in April 2007:this name expresses perfectly the identity of the leading brand dedicated entirely to commercial vehicles. Therefore, 2008 has been marked by the growth and consolidation of the brand's identity, and also by the professional approach that has generated very significant sales results.
The Hannover show represents the right opportunity to discover both the future developments and the models that have completely renewed the Fiat Professional range over the last 24 months: an offer that always interprets the real needs of the customers by keeping up-to-date in perfect harmony with their expectations. Moreover, this is the secret of the success achieved by Fiat Professional in recent years in a market that is growing constantly.
In fact, a 20% increase in commercial vehicle registrations was recorded in Europe during the last 4 years (from 2,040,000 units in 2004 to 2,441,000 units in 2007). Fiat Professional registered a 30% increase in its sales in Europe during the same period, increasing from 217 thousand units in 2004 to 283 thousand units in 2007, reflecting an increase in its market share from 10.7% to 11.6%.
The results achieved by Fiat Professional were indeed significant, if only 2007 is taken into consideration: 433,000 vehicles sold throughout the world, representing an increase of 64,000 units compared with 2006 (a 17% growth). This result was achieved with the contribution made by all the principal models which recorded particularly positive results.
For example, the X250 family (Fiat Ducato, together with the two similar PSA models) was reconfirmed as the best-selling model in its segment in 2007 (27.9% market share in Europe). In particular, the Ducato recorded 119 thousand vehicle registrations (vehicle registrations in 2006 totalled 96 thousand) increasing its market share from 15.1% to 16.4%.
The production at the Sevel plant has been increased by up to 300 thousand units a year, considering the extraordinary success achieved by the X250 models, (approximately 1,300 vehicles/day): in this way the industrial site located in Val di Sangro (Italy) is confirmed as the largest plant in Europe for the production of vehicles in the 2G segment.
The sales performance for the New Scudo was also outstanding: this vehicle was nominated "Van of the Year 2008", and was selected in 2007 by more than 35 thousand European customers (20,300 customers in 2006), increasing its market share from 4.3% to 6.7%. It is important to emphasise that the model is particularly highly valued also in the versions designed to transport passengers: in fact, the Panorama and Combi models represent approximately 40% of the total sales.
The Doblò Cargo model also contributed to the European success achieved by Fiat Professional in 2007 with 60,900 vehicles sold and a market share of 11.8%; the results achieved in 2006 were 58,700 and 11.4%, respectively.
The significant results have not only been confirmed but even exceeded in the first 6 months of this year. In fact, Fiat Professional registered 136.550 units in Western Europe, during the January-June 2008 period, 4,400 more vehicles compared with the same period in 2007, reflecting an increased market share from 11.7% to 12.4% (this result represents achieving second place in the market ranking). In particular, the Ducato model recorded 63,200 vehicle registrations in the first half of the year, representing a 16.5% market share in the respective segment.
Scudo increased its sales volumes by 2,800 units (from 16,000 in 2007 to 18,800 in 2008) and its respective market share by 1.3 percentage points (increasing from 5.9% to 7.2%).
The growth in the 1B segment (corresponding to the Doblò Cargo and Fiorino segment) was even more significant (32,200 vehicles in 2007 compared with 36,200 vehicles in 2008), reflecting an increase in the market share from 12.2% during last year to 13.7% in 2008. This result was achieved also thanks to the significant contribution made by the recently introduced Fiorino that has received 24,600 orders, overall, from the date of its initial launch last December to the end of June 2008 for the goods transport and Combi versions.
Today, Fiat Professional continues to pursue two fundamental guidelines to consolidate its leadership position in Italy and to improve its position in Europe further: the introduction of new products and the development of the Network. Therefore, on one hand, the on-going renewal of the offer, in order to render it more and more competitive and complete in the over 80 markets where Fiat Professional has a presence. On the other hand, the development of the sales network that has been renewed in terms of structures, human resources and after-sales services.
In fact, today, Fiat Professional's specialised network can rely on 824 dealers in Europe (78 of which are also Iveco dealers) and 2,440 sales staff capable of satisfying every need of operators that use their vehicles as a daily working tool.