Whose Gonna’ Argue With Mr. T?

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona may once have famously referred to his industrious midfield teammate, Didier Deschamps, as just a ‘water carrier’ but … where would we be without water!?  From mobile phones to tomato soup at the supermarket, all these goods are delivered by commercial vehicles, they don’t just appear by magic!
Ugly, noisy and full of smoke?  Don’t be fooled into thinking though that Del Boy’s three-wheeler from ‘Only Fools and Horses’ is typical of today’s commercial van.  Things have moved on from the days of the Robin Reliant and when it comes to looks, technology and comfort – today’s vans are up there with some of the best passenger vehicles on the road.
Although I’m not about to buy one just yet, I did want to do a bit of research into things like average mileage, body frameworks, storage space etc. and have discovered a few really good websites out there, of which Van Monster is probably the best.  
Although it might sound like an episode of Pimp My Ride, Van Monster actually has thousands of second hand vans for sale on its site and I ended up spending a whole afternoon just browsing!  I definitely didn’t realise there were so many of these types of vehicles on the road (well, why would I?) and it was pretty interesting to discover all the different shapes, sizes and kinds out there.
Of course, as you’d suspect, all the various car manufacturers are in the market and have their own versions of what constitutes a good commercial van but, after having a good look, here are my favourites from each: 
Peugeot have models that include the Bipper, Expert and Partner.  I liked the Boxer though, it’s big and can carry up to 2000kgs.
The Sprinter and Vito are Mercedes’ offerings, and if I had to choose I’d probably go for the Sprinter.  In terms of running costs it seems hard to beat.  
When it comes to Ford it’s hard to choose anything other than the Transit.  Maybe the best known van out there, certainly in the UK, the Transit is just really adaptable and sturdy.
With all the Volkswagen models you’ll get the super-reliability they are renowned for but I’m going for the Crafter.  There’s just something about it that looks great and you can almost imagine a modern day A-Team using it!
Seriously, until looking I didn’t realise that some of these vehicles are absolute beasts and wouldn’t be out of place in even the toughest off-road rally.  And did I actually say vans weren’t sexy?  Who am I to argue with Mr T?!

Photos Credits
VW, Ford, Mercedes

Interview with John Rawlings (PR Manager, VW Commercial Vehicles UK)

Today I was with John Rawlings, PR manager of VolkswagenCommercial Vehicles UK. This was my first interview in commercial vehicles segment. And I was excited; until now I was taking pictures and doing interview in passenger vehicle segment. Commercial vehicles were a bit far for me! However, I had spent more time and had more fun than passenger vehicles.
We did the interview inside a VW California van. It is based on Transporter, however California is designed for camping from A to Z. Let me start with exterior, you have an expandable tent on the right side, and also you may have it on the left side. Two camping chairs are place inside a specially designed pocket on luggage door. The roof is expandable for sleeping and for daily living. Driver and passenger seats rotate 360-degree very easily. Four adults can sleep very comfortable inside the California. Also, there is a very cleverly designed foldable table. Actually, you may use that table at home as well. There are lots of places to hang, lots of curtains, pockets and many more things. I was playing with Volkswagen California for hours and still there were something more.
As you can see, I was excited with Volkswagen California :)
With John, we talked about the difference between commercial and passenger vehicles in terms of public relations. I was wondering about this difference, because commercial vehicles are sold for commercial reasons and there might be some critical differences.  We talked about how commercial vehicles became popular in passenger vehicles segment, John told about the history of VW’s commercial vans and how they were emerged. Also, he mentioned about the technology transfer from VW passenger vehicles to commercial vehicles. Lastly, the importance of social media for commercial vehicles.
There will more coming in following days!