Toyota has expanded its European line of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with a large Proace Max van, it will also be offered with an electric powertrain installation.
Toyota's cooperation with the PSA Group in the LCV segment began in 2012: thanks to the simplest badge engineering, the Japanese brand entered the one-tonne van segment of the European market with the Proace model (a redesigned second-generation Citroen Jumpy). Today, Toyota’s European LCV line includes the current Proace based on the third-generation Citroen Jumpy, the “heeled” Toyota Proace City based on the third-generation Citroen Berlingo and its own Hilux diesel pickup.
At the beginning of 2021, the PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles formed the Stellantis corporation as a result of a merger; one of the conditions of the antimonopoly committee for approval of the deal was the continuation of cooperation with Toyota in the LCV segment, so that the appearance of a large Toyota van based on a similar Stellantis model (in this case – Fiat Ducato) was only a matter of time; such a model was announced in May 2022. We then, however, assumed that the appearance of a large Toyota van would be timed to coincide with the change of generations of Fiat Ducato comrades – their moral age is too great, but, as it turned out the other day, such a change is not expected in the coming years: the management of Stellantis decided, for reasons of economy, to wear available commercial platforms for as long as possible.
At the same time, Stellantis Corporation, in its development plan for the LCV segment, announced in October, announced a new specialized large van for delivery services with a sliding side door and a roll-up luggage door – in the coming years, it will apparently be the only full-fledged new product in the van wing of the newly formed commercial division Stellantis Pro One.
Toyota Proace Max 1/3 Toyota Proace Max 2/3 Toyota Proace Max 3/3
The current third-generation Fiat Ducato is the oldest Stellantis model in the LCV line, it has been produced since 2006 and regularly receives updates. Citroen Jumper, Fiat Ducato, Opel/Vauxhal Movano, Peugeot Boxer and the overseas Ram ProMaster are its clones, today Toyota has joined this friendly company Proace Max. The premiere of the “Japanese” is timed to coincide with the next restyling and technical modernization of all relatives in the line of vans of the Stellantis corporation and the entire line of European LCVs of the Toyota brand.
There has not yet been a full-fledged premiere of the once again updated Fiat Ducato, and Today's debut of the Toyota Proace Max also has the character of a group announcement: in the press release, in addition to the Proace Max itself, the updated Toyota Proace and Proace City are announced, a 48-volt hybrid add-on has been “attached” to the engine of the Toyota Hilux pickup truck, details about these new products will be made public later .
The Toyota Proace Max van can only be admired from the outside; in fact, it differs from the original Fiat Ducato only in its emblems. The Proace Max will be offered in two wheelbases, three lengths and three heights, with a maximum van capacity of 17 cubic metres. The electric version will be able to travel up to 420 km on a single charge according to the WLTP cycle, equipped with electronic driver assistants will be the best or one of the best in the class.
Updated line of Toyota light commercial vehicles for the European market
The expansion of the LCV line will allow Toyota to significantly increase its sales in the segment of the same name in the European market; last year it sold 119,000 light commercial vehicles here. Stellantis Corporation has a more ambitious goal – to catch up and overtake Ford, which is now the world leader in LCV sales.