DAF has already committed to next year’s CV Show, in spite of being absent this year, evidently due to commitments at the near-coincident RAI commercial vehicle show in Amsterdam last week.
“I can assure you we will be back next year, as well as [engaging in] some significant activity later this year at Hanover,” Ray Ashworth, managing director of DAF Trucks, told a press party.
In fact, DAF used the RAI exhibition to launch its Euro 6 truck engine.
“This is a clear demonstration that DAF has the technology ready for Euro 6 and indeed learnt a lot from its sister product – the EPA10 [Paccar] MX engine that is now sold in something like 25% of all Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks in the USA,” commented Ashworth.
“While that engine uses the technology platform and SCR [selective catalytic reduction] and EGR [exhaust gas recirculation], together with a closed type [diesel] particulate filter, our new Euro 6 engine is very much more sophisticated,” he continued.
“The integration of the after treatment system, using over 40 sensors, 14 control units and common rail fuel injection running at 2,500 bar, as well as variable geometry turbocharger technologies, makes this new MX13 Euro 6 engine a much more complex product development,” he explained.
Ashworth said the first of these new engines will appear in a DAF truck later this year. But he also stated that DAF’s Euro 6 development work doesn’t mean nothing’s happening with Euro 5.
“We will carry on building Euro 5 alongside Euro 6 in the coming years… Many parts of the world remain happy with Euro 3 or Euro 5 technology, including our new markets of Brazil, India and China where Paccar has invested heavily over recent years,” said Ashworth.
And these are clearly growth markets for DAF: “In 2011, DAF registered 5,200 vehicles outside the EU,” confirmed Ashworth. “For example, 1,500 in Russia and 1,000 CFs in Taiwan.”
He also agreed that, on the run up to Euro 6 engines becoming mandatory in 18 months’ time, DAF expects business for Euro 5-engned trucks in its home markets to peak back at pre-recession levels.
Quite simply, as operators will want to reap the benefit of their considerably lower cost, compared to Euro 6, particularly given the inadequacy of the government’s current RPC (reduced pollution certificate) policy – which makes purchasing Euro 5 a no-brainer against Euro 6.
“Our [drive] for 2012 will be on promoting the existing model range, with a focus on fuel economy. That means advanced transport efficiency (DAf’s Ate campaign) – upgraded engines and aerodynamic bodies,” said Ashworth.
“Our new ATe Euro 5 engine range with new pistons, software, oil control and other fuel saving devices, is showing typical improvements of 3—5%, compared with equivalent models of 12 months’ ago. Of course, that gives us a challenge for Euro 6 as well, because our target is to match this new improved fuel efficiency at Euro 6,” he added.
For him though – and for many others throughout the transport industry – this is not just about improved engine technology: “Our aerodynamic body on the LF has a proven 8.3% fuel saving,” he said.
And that kind of development, along with DAF Trucks’ factory body programme – now with more than 2,000 trucks in operation and an annual running level of over 1,000 bodied vehicles coming out of the Leyland factory – is continuing to grow market share.
“Our market share is running at virtually 30%, which is an all-time high,” said Ashworth.
“The LF in particular is doing very well, being responsible for nearly 40% of all sales in its sector. Paccar Financial is now funding over 40% share of our registrations despite all the headline news that the banks are back.
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