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Volkswagen gives Caddy van a new lease of Life

A new light commercial vehicle is all set to win extra business for Volkswagen in Britain – as a car.

Boasting seven seats and a generous amount of space for luggage, the German firm’s latest version of the Caddy van has been tailored for success in the booming chauffeur and taxi market.

But the Maxi Life is also regarded as a potential big hit in the private car sector by VW Commercial Vehicles director Robert Hazelwood, who will become Skoda's new UK director on March 1.

“Budget-conscious motorists with large families may well be interested in a full-size alternative to the Vauxhall Zafira and Renault Grand Scenic. We think this car has all it takes to make a big contribution to our growth,” he said.

The Life – a bigger and upgraded version of the popular Caddy van – will be priced from around £16,000 to make it keenly competitive in the burgeoning MPV market. Significantly, the roomy model will also undercut the Touran MPV produced by VW’s car division.

“Moving into fresh segments is key to our strategy for expansion. Our aim is to grow our LCV network from 68 to 85 by 2011 and new outlets will come on stream this year in Glasgow, Liverpool and Ashford in Kent.

“After eight years of consecutively higher sales, we registered more than 30,000 units last year thanks to products like the Caddy and Transporter vans.

Our target is 40,000 sales by 2015, but I’m convinced that products like the Maxi Life and the new one-tonne, double-cab pick-up truck due in 2010 will play a central role in getting us there three years early – our view is that an increasing number of private motorists are looking for a single vehicle to meet all their transport needs.”

VW will make the Maxi Life available as a business to business product from next week February 18 and will start marketing the vehicle to retail buyers in August.

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