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Wraps off JV at Frankfurt

Vauxhall and Renault took the wraps off their latest joint venture at the Frankfurt commercial vehicle show. The Vauxhall Vivaro and Renault Trafic (same name but all-new for Renault) will be built at IBC Vehicles in Luton.

IBC, a GM subsidiary, has invested £185m in production facilities for the new joint venture. Maximum annual production is expected to be around 86,000 units.

The Vivaro/Trafic will go on sale in the second half of 2001. Vauxhall and sister company Opel anticipate half-year sales of 20,000 units across Europe.

The 2.8-tonne Vivaro is front wheel drive and has a choice of two different length wheelbases.It will be launched with two 1.9 turbo diesel engines with common rail injection (80bhp and 100bhp) and a 2.0-litre petrol unit (120bhp). A 2.5-litre turbo diesel will be added later.

One unusual feature is the dome-shaped cab, which improves headroom and visibility as well as making access easier.

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