PSA Peugeot Citroen has launched second-generation Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Partner van/MPV model lines but the 10-year-old first generation models will stay on sale in some markets.

The models have carved out whole new market sectors, particularly in Asia-Pacific markets where 'one box' Japanese or Korean vans are the norm.

Launched in July 1996 in Europe, the original Berlingo/Partner was a blend of car, people mover and light commercial vehicle with a new level of practicality, prompting other major European car makers to following suit - for example, Renault's Kangoo.

The Citroën brand alone has sold more than 1.7m first generation Berlingos and it has been the leader in its European sector since 2003.

In Australia, the Berlingo was the first Citroën commercial vehicle to be sold and it was one of the first to challenge the domination of Japanese single box vans. As in other markets, rivals have followed.

The new Berlingo is based on the C4 Picasso platform with similar nose styling.

Van version load volume rises from 3.0 to 3.3 cubic metres, payload is boosted from 800 to 850 kg and, with the optional Extenso modular cabin, the Berlingo will offer three front seats (a class first) load volume of 3.7 cubic metres and maximum load length of three metres.

The people-mover/MPV (minivan) version gains useful improvements in versatility and flexibility, with the rear folding bench seat replaced by three fully removable adult-sized seats, an opening rear window for the rear hatch door and new designs for the 'ModuTop' roof storage lockers.

Electronic stability control, hill assist and anti-lock brakes are all available and PSA claims comfort, handling, roadholding and "acoustic performance" (noise levels, in other words) will match car standards.

Engine options will vary by market with emphasis on highly efficient turbodiesels fitted with particulate filters.

The new Berlingo will, initially, be sold alongside the existing model known henceforth as the 'Berlingo First', complementing the new Nemo small van.

Peugeot will do likewise, calling the first generation model the Partner Origin and its new small van the Bipper.

The MPV version is called the Partner Tepee, picking up a name used on a concept in 1996.

Like the Citroen version, it has a new 'Zenith' multi-purpose roof providing more passenger compartment light, and three individual folding rear seats.

The Partner Tepee Outdoor gets styling changes for an "off-road look".