A truck modeled on insect architecture, and an EV named Elf.
As a segment, fullsize vans are stealth-fighter invisible on most consumers' radar. Visit a dealership for any of the four brands that offer them and you'll be lucky to find even one on display. These are commercial vehicles primarily, even more so than pickup trucks. Vans are the shuttles for plumbers, caterers, carpenters, concrete layers, masons, electricians, florists and flooring, and a huge part of this country's productivity is accomplished using them. At the moment, Ford is the 800-pound
UPDATE: The text below has been amended to include new details provided by Ford.
Just a few years ago, nobody thought that small commercial vans would find much place in the US market. But Ford has turned that notion on its head with the Transit Connect, Nissan has joined in with its NV200 and others are apparently keen to follow.
The imposing commercial truck above has a feature that might be surprising to most Autoblog readers – a Blue Oval emblem on the front. Here in North America, Ford simply doesn't play in the eighteen-wheeler sandbox, but that doesn't mean that the Dearborn-based automaker is absent in the heavy hauling space in other parts of the globe. In fact, Ford presently fields two completely different big rig ranges under the Cargo moniker – one a product of an Eastern Europe/Turkey joint ventu
Unlike the US, the commercial truck market throughout the rest of the world is chocked full of competitors from many different automakers. Since 2006, Volkswagen has had a fullsize van called the Crafter that was a result of a partnership with Daimler AG and based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. This partnership is supposed to last through 2016, but Reuters is reporting that VW might be looking to end its relationship with Daimler and create its own van in cooperation with German truck and bus ma
The overpowering Japanese yen, currently so strong against other currencies that Japanese automakers are calling on their government to do something about it, has claimed a victim in UD trucks' North American operations (UDNA).
Though the Ford Transit Connect may be a niche player in the North American market, the small van market is big business in Europe. According to Mercedes-Benz, it accounts for some 700,000 units annually, and that's a pie of which Daimler wouldn't mind getting a bigger slice. And so it has announced its new Citan.
The new-generation 2012 Actros big rig has already won Truck of the Year – for the fourth time – and Mercedes-Benz figured it would have some fun letting other truck people know about its semi. It kitted an Actros out in the eggshell hue and black-and-yellow sign that's standard-issue German taxi livery, then sent it out to pick up passengers.
Kraft Foods wants to bring you more Velveeta, more efficiently. According to Bloomberg, the food giant says it needs to pack its 97,000-pound trucks full of processed deliciousness in order to combat high diesel prices. Problem is, interstate highways have an 80,000-pound weight limit.
There's plenty of room to get lost in the Volkswagen Group. In addition to the VW brand, the group controls Skoda, Seat, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti. But we can't forget its truck divisions. In addition to being Europe's largest automaker, VW is also one of its largest producer of trucks as well, producing VW commercial vehicles while holding nearly three-quarters of the shares in Swedish truckmaker Scania and a significant stake in MAN as well.
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The next step in cruise control comes courtesy of Freightliner semis and GPS data company NAVTEQ. Freightliner broadened communication between the cruise control and map data: the GPS transmits information on the road ahead up to a mile, and then the cruise control computes the best speed at which to cover the distance with the greatest fuel efficiency.
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Nissan NV200
Click above for a high-res image gallery of the Ford Transit Connect