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UK: PSA-built Toyota Proace wins first large fleet order

By Graeme Roberts | 27 September 2013

Toyota Proace went on sale in the second quarter

Toyota Proace went on sale in the second quarter

Toyota UK has announced its first major fleet deal for the new Proace medium-duty van - built on an OEM supply basis by PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Toyota Material Handling UK, which provides national sales and servicing for Toyota forklift trucks and warehouse equipment, has signed an initial contract to supply 116 vehicles – all long wheelbase/standard height models powered by the 126bhp two litre diesel engine. These will be used by engineers for the company’s national servicing, installation and repair operations, as part of a business fleet that numbers 400 LCVs.

The Proace, a variant of PSA's Citroen Jumpy/Dispatch and Peugeot Expert, replaced the Portugese built Hiace in Toyota Europe's LCV line earlier this year. The range offers nine different configurations, with two vehicle lengths, two height options, payloads of one or 1.2 tonnes and a choice of three diesel engines. TMHUK vehicles have racking from specialist supplier Bott.

The specification includes ABS with emergency brake assist, VSC stability control, driver and front passenger airbags, air conditioning, Bluetooth, electric windows, driver’s seat height adjustment and reach and rake adjustment for the steering wheel.

Such LCV model sharing is common amngst automakers in Europe. Citroen and Peugeot share other van models and RenaultNissan and Opel/Vauxhall have a van-making joint venture.

Fiat, meanwhile, supplies a small van to Opel Vauxhall and Renault builds a Kangoo small van spinoff for Mercedes. Mercedes meanwhile, recently announced it was pulling the plug on a long standing deal to supply Crafter badged variants of its large Sprinter van to VW.

Twenty years ago, Volkswagen assembled the one tonne Toyota pickup truck for a time in Germany, supplying it as the HiLux to Toyota Europe and selling its own version badged Taro.