Products

Latest Upfits for New Cargo Vans

Upfitters focus on modular designs and lightweight materials for new crop of commercial van products.

September 2013, Automotive Fleet - Cover Story

by Greg Basich - Also by this author

Masterack plans to offer its new SmartSpace cargo management system for Ram's ProMaster full-size van.
Masterack plans to offer its new SmartSpace cargo management system for Ram's ProMaster full-size van.


The commercial van marketplace’s landscape is changing rapidly with the introduction of a number of completely new van designs. Fleet upfitters are taking advantage of these new vehicles’ designs to provide a wider range of upfitting solutions that meet the diverse needs of today’s businesses.

Business Fleet magazine received responses from representatives of five companies that provide upfitting services and products, including Adrian Steel, Auto Truck Group, Masterack, Ranger Design and Utilimaster.

In addition to discussing their product and service offerings for new vans, these representatives also discussed how the new vans’ designs are changing their approach to product design and upfitting.

 

VERSATILE VAN LINEUP

The new vans arriving in the marketplace fall into the full-size van or compact van group. The Ford Transit, the Ram ProMaster and the 2014-MY Mercedes-Benz/Freightliner Sprinter fall into the full-size van group.

Compact vans include the Ford Transit Connect (a new version of which is set to arrive in the market next year); the Ram C/V (cargo van), which is currently out; the Nissan NV200, which is also available; and the Chevrolet City Express, which is set to arrive in late 2014 as a 2015 model-year vehicle.

One of the main advantages of the newer full-size vans is versatility. The Transit, ProMaster and Sprinter all offer a range of roof heights, body lengths and configurations that can meet the needs of different types of businesses.

Jenn Voelker, Masterack’s marketing manager for Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products (Masterack’s parent company), says the company recognizes that its fleet customers are focusing on fuel-efficient vehicles, cost-savings and alternative fuels, and that these factors are behind the range of configurations the new full-size vans offer.

“OEMs are widening their breadth of products to include more commercial vehicle options,” Voelker says. “For example, the full-size Ford Transit cargo van will have seven different length and cube configurations, and the Ram ProMaster will have eight configurations. At Masterack, our focus is on solutions that provide customers with weight savings, modularity and cost savings.”

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