LCV’s – What is the deal?
What is meant by the term LC Vehicle's?
In South Africa, Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV’s) refer to motor vehicles used for the transport of goods or passengers with a maximum mass not exceeding 3500 kg. This could range anywhere from a minibus, van, double- and single cab bakkie or light duty truck or a mix of two. LCV concept vehicles are created to be tough built, have low operating costs with powerful yet fuel-efficient engines.
Aiden Castille, general manager of marketing planning at Toyota South Africa, says that sales of LCVs account for around 30 percent of total sales in the commercial vehicle sector. Further adding to this Francois van Eeden, CMM LCV, marketing and planning at Nissan South Africa, states that the LCV market is expected to continue growing at an average of 3,5 percent per annum over the next few years.
Local is Lekker!
In the future, it is expected that low-selling imported brands will leave the South African market due to localization and a significant investment in local production. This will also enable increased exports. Mark Handley, head of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, agrees that sales of LCVs are likely to increase in South Africa, but for different reasons than in Europe, where sales of LCVs with alternative drivetrains are being driven by legislation that sets strict vehicle emission standards for inner-city regions. This may be combined with weight and vehicle-dimension restrictions that dictate the use of an LCV.
Business and Leisure
Many consumers want a vehicle that can be used for business purposes during the week and double as a leisure vehicle on weekends and holidays. The needs of the driver and the kind of freight being carried must be taken into consideration when buying an LVC to ensure that the vehicle fits its intended purpose and owner.
According to Castille South African consumers wants what he calls quality, durability, and reliability. At the moment, though, customer preferences are towards double cabs, automatics, and diesels… “There are fewer petrol-powered vehicles available from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), while demand for automatic transmissions has grown. The minibus-taxi market is moving from petrol to diesel,” says Van Eeden. This has given Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, Nissan, and Mazda a strong presence in the market.
Safety in Commercial Vehicles
With focused placed on Commercial Fleet Management, companies have started to implement their own safety policies and there is greater awareness about the safety components being built into vehicles. “In the future, companies will expect to purchase vehicles with this technology built-in,” says Castille. “At the very least, consumers want to know how a vehicle performed in the European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) crash test. At the moment safety requirements are fairly basic, but we expect that technological development will lead to the implementation of systems such as autonomous braking and crash-alert systems.” Fastidious Fleet Management is something that has become the norm. Van Eeden suggests that the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications and web connectivity will increase in vehicles. Partnerships is already being forged with mapping agencies and telematics providers, as this technology is crucial to vehicle autonomy.
The next 20 years vehicles will be more modular that can easily be converted from a people carrier with seats to a panel van for transportation of goods! One thing is for sure, there is an exciting future ahead for LCV's in South Africa!
Adapted from Focus on Transports April 2019 “LVC Segment under Change” article by Gareth Greathead.
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Posted on Sep 23, 2020 by Auto Repair DirectoryBack to Articles