Remember the ubiquitous Austin Rover Maestro van back in the early-1990s? It was a solid competitor in Britain’s light utility Car Derived Van (CDV) market. But when production finished, Rover exited the segment. Under BMW and ‘Roverisation’ there was no place at Rover for such low-margin workhorses.

The MG Express
Now MG Rover has decided to get back into the segment. The company has announced it is to enter the commercial vehicles sector for the ‘first time’ (okay, in the current incarnation of the company) with two Rover 25-based CDV model ranges.

The MG Express is created from the 25-based MG ZR hot-hatch and MG Rover claims it provides a new benchmark in the CDV sector, ‘combining class-leading performance with desirability and practicality’.

The three-model line-up – 105 petrol, 101Ps turbo diesel and range topping 160 – include high security protection. Prices start at £8,264 (excl. VAT).

The Rover CDV is the other model range. Available with a 84Ps 1.4-litre petrol and 101Ps 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine, the Rover CDV is priced from £7,072.

Guy Pigounakis, UK Commercial Director, MG Rover Group, stated: “The announcement of the Rover CDV and MG Express answers the demands of individuals and small business users who desire versatile products that are economic in operation and have distinctive style. The MG Express and Rover CDV are class-leading delivery vehicles.”

Guy added: “I’m sure a great number of small businesses are going to get very excited about these new car derived vans, which are yet another example of MG Rover Group’s ability to bring innovative products to the market and introduce new desirability into an established market sector.”

Rover CDV
Analysts said that the move ekes out additional volume on a model range – the 25 – that is seeing declining sales and is well overdue for replacement.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Car Derived Vans are utility vehicles mainly serving small business users and large utilities who run big CDV fleets. The main advantage for the purchaser is that business users do not pay Value Added Tax (17% in the UK). To meet Inland Revenue commercial vehicle definitions, CDVs have to have rear side windows panelled out and no rear seating fitted. They are also decontented – in relation to passenger cars – in other ways to keep cost as low as possible.