Conscious of the unprecedented times for people and businesses around the world during the Coronavirus pandemic, the annual International Van of the Year Awards go ahead in a slightly different format this year.
The prestigious International Van of the Year Award is usually presented to the winning manufacturer at one of the two major biennial commercial vehicle shows, the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show, Hannover, Germany or Solutrans, Lyon, France. However, with the IAA exhibition cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19, the 2021 Award will instead be announced and presented virtually to the winning manufacturer.
“As the 24 strong jury membership from across Europe and Russia have been unable to travel to launch events during the lockdown period, they have had to rely on the virtual premieres presented by the various manufacturers,” explained Jarlath Sweeney, Chairman, International Van of the Year Jury.
“For the adjudication process, some members were in a position to attend launch drive programmes in Central Europe where possible but in the main, jury members had first drive experiences in their home countries. For the first time, the announcement of the award is going virtual, with a special event taking place on-line on the 17 December at 11am CET (10am GMT) on the jury’s dedicated website – www.van-of-the-year.com” he added.
Four contenders across three brands
For the 2021 Awards programme, three light commercial vehicle brands have models nominated for the prestigious pan-European title, originally established in 1992. Interestingly for this year’s competition, two nominees have what can be called a ‘conventional’ drivetrain, in that the new Ford Transit Active & Trial and latest Mercedes-Benz Vito models are diesel powered, whereas the other nominated vans all have electric propulsion. Groupe PSA has three jointly developed contenders across its brands in the form of the Peugeot e-Expert, Citroen e-Dispatch (e-Jumpy) and Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro-e models, while Mercedes-Benz Vans has the eSprinter in contention.
Following the announcement of the overall winner, the official presentation of the IVOTY 2021 trophy, dedicated to Swedish jury member Anders Karlsson, who passed away recently, will be made early in the new year.
Diary Date: 17 December at 11am CET (10am GMT) on www.van-of-the-year.com