The Fiat/PSA Minivan, marketed as the Citroen Nemo, Fiat Fiorino and Peugeot Bipper, has been elected International Van of the Year 2009. The trophy, awarded to the light commercial vehicle which is deemed to have made the greatest contribution to transport efficiency, was handed over to the winner at the IAA Truck Show in Hanover on 23 September.
The development of the Minivan is a cooperation between Fiat and PSA (Peugeot/Citroen) and the vehicle is produced in the Turkish Tofas factory. The International Van of the Year jury, representing 20 countries, gave the winner a total of 112 points out of a maximum possible 140. In second place was the new Citroen Berlingo/Peugeot Partner with 70 points.
The Jury was particularly impressed by the fact that in developing the new Fiat/PSA Minivan the companies have created a brand new segment in the light commercial vehicle segment. Over the past 20 years there has been a gradual trend of vans in the light segment to offer more load volume and as a result the truly "min" segment has been vacated by the manufacturers, leaving a market opportunity unfilled. Congested streets and a requirement for movements of small consignments in a vehicle appropriate for the role has meant the market has been waiting for this very class of vehicle. With approximately 650 kg load capacity and 2,5 to 2,8 cubic meters of load volume, the Fiat/PSA Minivan is the perfect match to the market requirements, enabling customers to buy the right sized van for their work.
Fiat/PSA succeeded in developing a commercial vehicle that combines a high efficiency with good environmental and safety features and with a refreshing, new styling that distinguishes the vehicle from every other competitor. The vehicle is offered with a complete line-up of models: A cargo van, combi, passenger vehicle and a leisure-model, as well as an adventure version with higher ground clearance and a special traction system for off-road purposes. Initiated by Fiat, the vehicle will also be available with electric traction and with a CNG-fuelled engine. The diesel versions will be available with diesel particulate filters in order to fulfil the Euro-5 emissions standard.
Regarding safety: Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) is available on request which is rather unique in this category. Another option is a speed limiter that makes it possible to limit the maximum speeds on four different levels in order to increase safety and to save fuel. In addition, an excellent automated gearbox is available which reduces cost of maintenance and fuel, as well as making a significant contribution to comfort and safety.
Furthermore the fuel consumption of the vehicles as tested in the several roadtests of the jury members was very convincing.
In summary, the opinion of the Jury is that the new Fiat/PSA Minivan is a real innovation in the segment of light commercial vehicles: In sizes, dimensions and styling the vehicle offers a unique concept. In general the vehicle is a very well designed, compact, quality van with good economy in total that fulfils the most important criterion of the International Van of the Year jury namely a contribution to the efficient transport of goods by road.