Seddon Atkinson launches first of new product range

Seddon Atkinson has emerged from last year's restructuring and the move of production from Oldham to Madrid with a planned programme of relaunches and new products and a commitment to maintain the "Big A" brand. Editor Alexander Catto reports.

The launch of a second new product this year by Seddon Atkinson at last month's CIWM show is proof positive of tangible benefits that the manufacturer is gaining from the move to Madrid.

National Sales Manager Kevin Crowder says that there is now a dedicated production line for the Seddon Atkinson at parent group Iveco's Madrid factory. Focused on the municipal and construction sector there is capacity to build 15-20 units per week plus the ability to build specials.

Seddon Atkinson says that the economy of scale is producing benefits and production lead times are running at 12-14 working weeks for new orders. If the vehicle is built Kevin Crowder says that the company can quote two weeks.

The perceived advantages of the Seddon Atkinson chassis remain, the company says, offering optimum weight distribution and good payload.

The focus will remain on the "Big A" brand through a planned programme of relaunches and new products which runs through to 2006.

The Seddon Atkinson product range spans the 18-44 tonne commercial vehicle sector and is closely targeted at the municipal and construction markets, as well as specific areas of the commercial retails sectors where the Seddon Atkinson brand is suited, such as fuel tankers and skip loaders.

The company's line up includes three model ranges comprising the low entry EuroMover, Pacer and Strato, and is available in a wide range of axle configurations and with engine options comprising the 5.9 litre Iveco tector, 7.8 litre Cursor and 12.9 litre Cursor 13 units, as well as Cummins 8.3 litre ISCe and the 10.8 litre ISMe.

New municipal chassis

CIWM Torbay saw the launch of Seddon Atkinson's second major product launch of the year, the new M5 Pacer. This was on show complete with the new Iveco Group cab. The introduction of the new cab into the R5 Strato and the M5 Pacer ranges has involved significant investment from Iveco, and is seen by the company as a major step in updating the product range.

The new M5 Pacer range includes five different models comprising both narrow width and standard variants plated at 18 tonnes (4x2), together with three standard width models, consisting of one at 23 tonnes (6x2mid-lift) and two different 26 tonners (a 6x2 mid-steer and a 6x4 double drive).

Engine options across the range remain unchanged, with Iveco's 5.9 litre tector engine offered at 240 and 275 hp, together with the Cummins ISCe 8.3 litre engine at 260 hp.

All models feature the Allison MD3560P five-speed automatic transmission as standard, with a wide ratio variant, making them suitable for stop-start and on/off road applications.

The new cab, designed by Stile Bertone, is available as either a three-man rest cab or a six-man crew cab. The front bumper assembly utilises a redesigned steel bumper bar complete with caged headlights, aided by an automatic headlamp levelling device. New front quarter panel air deflectors allow an improved level of airflow into the engine, and front under-run protection in included as standard for safety. The driver is provided with a fully adjustable steering column and an automatic electronic tachograph and engine tachometer. There is a new LCD cluster built into the dashboard which displays diagnostic information, engine oil levels and warning lights.

All vehicles in the range feature central locking and an immobiliser as standard, together with storage compartments for stowing crew belongings.

The first M5 Pacer chassis will arrive in the UK in November and is expected to be bodied and entering operation before the end of the year.

The first R5 Strato, which rolled off the Madrid production line, was on show at Torbay fitted with an Econ Unibody. Officially unveiled at the CV Show, the new range includes 18 tonne 4x2 models available with either narrow width (2.2 metres) or standard (2.5 metres) chassis, as well as a standard width 26 tonne lightweight 6x4 model.



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