Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles supplies the most reliable vans to contract hire fleets in the UK, according to respondents in the annual FN50 reliability survey.
The company was ranked higher than Mercedes-Benz, whose Sprinter van took first position in the individual model rankings in a tough battle against the Volkswagen Transporter and Ford Transit.
The number of first places awarded eventually decided the positions of the top three vans, which were equal on points awarded by the leasing companies in the survey based on warranty claims and breakdowns.
|8||Ford Transit Custom|
Behind the top three, the Volkswagen Caddy took fourth place – one higher than in last year’s survey – with the Vauxhall Vivaro in fifth, jumping three positions higher than in 2014.
Mercedes-Benz’s medium van, the Vito, was placed sixth, while the highest pick-up truck in the survey, the Mitsubishi L200, takes seventh position, exchanging a top 30 position for a top 10 this year.
The remaining places in the top 10 go to the Ford Transit Custom, Citroën Berlingo and Volkswagen Crafter, the latter creeping up from outside the table in 2014.
Van downtime is a more important issue for fleet operators than car downtime because, while company car drivers can rearrange meetings or have discussions by telephone or video calls, most vans are used for deliveries or carry skilled technicians and tools that other organisations depend on.
Mercedes-Benz Vans managing director Steve Bridge says: “To achieve the coveted number one spot in the Fleet News FN50 for our mighty Sprinter, in what is the 20th year of its production, is a fantastic achievement and is testament to the strength of this star vehicle.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the achievements of the iconic van this year and looking at all the customers who have invested in Sprinter over the years has been very humbling – with many Sprinter users even using images of their liveried vehicles in their marketing materials.
“I am also pleased we were ranked second in the manufacturer league and, with Vito in sixth position, it has been a great success for Mercedes-Benz Vans this year – we are most definitely out to beat the competition!”
There is a great deal of stability in the manufacturer table, with all listed having appeared in the top 10 in 2014, and no dramatic movements.
Toyota retains the ninth place it achieved last year, while Mitsubishi rounds out the top 10.
|2015 Position||Van Manufacturer|
The Mitsubishi position is perhaps notable as its commercial vehicle offering does not involve partnerships with other manufacturers and includes an all 4x4 line-up of the L200 pick-up truck and van versions of its Shogun and Outlander cars.
Volkswagen’s position in the manufacturer table has been strengthened not only by the solid performance of the Transporter in second place, but also by the improvement of the Caddy and the seven-place jump by the Crafter to appear in the top 10.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles director Carl zu Dohna said: ‘We’re delighted with the results of the survey and pleased to see that in operation our vehicles are among the most reliable on the road.
“Managing fleet downtime is a huge challenge for commercial vehicle operators: if their vans aren’t working, then they’re not working. That’s why we work hard to deliver high- quality vehicles which are backed up with a first-class aftersales service.”
The manufacturer will be hoping that the fix to the NOx emission software will not affect its results next year.