The decision to keep the old Berlingo and Partner models rolling off the lines is all the more curious given the arrival of lighter models to slot in below the Berlingo and Partner. In fact Fiat gets in on the act too, because Fiat and PSA have extended their co-operation on light commercial vehicle manufacturing yet again.

The two companies first struck a deal for a Ford Transit rival back in the 1970s, before extending the partnership to a smaller van, based on the 1990s Citroën Synergie, Fiat Ulysse and Peugeot 806 MPVs.

The latest models, which potential buyers could see for the first time at the CV Show this week provide the three brands with a small high volume van that slots in between the larger Berlingo, Partner and Fiat Doblo and the hatchback derived vans - Citroën C2, Fiat Grande Punto and Peugeot 207. Revelling in the names Citroën Nemo, Fiat Fiorino and Peugeot Bipper - try getting a Frenchman to say it - the three models are all built side-by-side in a Turkish factory and share the same body shell and major components. All three will carry a 610kg payload in their 2.5m3 capacity bodies. Like the Berlingo and Partner models, a folding passenger seat can extend the load floor and body volume further.

Although the models share the same 70bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine, the French and Italians go their own way for diesel power. Citroën and Peugeot models are powered by the Ford/PSA 1.4-litre common rail diesel, while the Fiorino gets the Fiat/Vauxhall 75bhp 1.3-litre common rail engine. All diesel variants will be available with an automated manual gearbox too.

The triplets are set to arrive in July, with Fiat the only manufacturer to offer a passenger version in the UK. Expect starting prices from around £8,000. Sadly there will be no Bipper tipper version, but owners can look forward to unlocking the doors with the Bipper plipper.

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