Fiat Professional is rolling out a line-up of approved conversions under the Ready for Professionals banner. The portfolio includes Ducato tippers, dropsides and Lutons, including a low-floor Luton built by Stockton-on-Tees-based CPD Bodies.
Sectors where Fiat Professional has made notable progress include the ambulance market. It now supplies the majority of NHS ambulance trusts with Ducato models and its show display included one with an Al-Ko chassis fitted and a VCS ambulance body.
The front-wheel-drive Ducato’s advantages include a low height, which makes it easier to load and unload patients without the need to install a heavy tail-lift, said country manager Richard Chamberlain. Because it is available at above 4.0 tonnes it can handle all the equipment that ambulances need to carry, he added.
At the same time the manufacturer is targeting the self-employed and small business owners with new top-of-the-range Sportivo versions of the Fiorino, Doblo, Talento and Ducato, said Chamberlain.
Slotting in above Tecnico trim, they include alloy wheels, metallic paint and Sportivo side stripes, as well as retaining Tecnico’s aircon, touch-screen satnav, reverse parking sensors and cruise control.
Prices start at £14,815 for the Fiorino Sportivo 1.3 80hp MultiJet II.
“Sportivo is aimed at people who practically live in their vans Monday to Friday then use them as their personal transport at the weekends.” said Chamberlain.
Fiat Professional has yet to add an electric model to its line-up but Chamberlain does not view this as a great disadvantage. Euro6 diesel engines are remarkably clean, he points out, and one of the best ways to cut pollution he believes would be to get Euro4 and 5 diesel vans off the road and replace them with Euro6 models.
“Diesel still has a role to play,” he contended. “Electric vans are starting to evolve but they’re not quite there yet; especially if you want to get from one city to another.”