The Citroen Dispatch mid-sized van has been confirmed for Australia, as the French company’s local distributor, Sime Darby Automotive, looks to clarify its commercial vehicle position.
Until recently, both Citroen and Peugeot – each distributed by Sime Darby – had offered commercial vehicles as parts of their line-ups. But in 2015 the company consolidated its range, with only the Citroen Berlingo remaining on sale.
That position has now been confirmed as permanent, with the local general manager of Peugeot and Citroen, Kai Bruesewitz, confirming to CarAdvice that Peugeot will focus on passenger cars and SUVs, while Citroen will take on the commercial vehicle side of the business.
“At this stage we’re focusing with the commercial offerings with Citroen. There is an expertise with the Berlingo, and a presence in the market, too,” Bruesewitz said.
He then confirmed that the Berlingo would be joined by the new-generation Citroen Dispatch, but it is unlikely to join the local range in 2017.
“We haven’t finalised the timing yet, but it’s probably not this year,” Bruesewitz said.
The company isn’t expected to offer the people-mover variant of the Dispatch locally, however: that model, the Citroen Space Tourer, is essentially a rival to the likes of the Volkswagen Caravelle/Multivan and Hyundai iMax.
“Not necessarily the Space Tourer, but the Dispatch will be coming,” Bruesewitz confirmed.
The Citroen Dispatch – in Europe, at least – is offered in various body configurations, including a short-wheelbase model (4.60 metres long), mid-wheelbase (4.95) and long-wheelbase version (5.30m). It offers up to 1400 kilograms of payload capacity, and a load-space volume of up to 6.6 cubic metres.
The van is offered with a range of diesel engines, from the low-output 1.6-litre turbo diesel manual, to a 2.0-litre turbo diesel with a six-speed automatic, the latter with up to 130kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
It brings with it some clever features, too: it mimics Renault’s Trafic by offering a long item load-through port below the passenger seats (pictured above), but betters all other vans with optional hands-free side sliding doors.
We await full details and specs on the 2018 Citroen Dispatch closer to launch.