This year has been a special one for Ducato. In addition to celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2016, the emblematic Fiat Professional model has reconfirmed its undisputed leadership in the large van segment - for vehicles from 2.8 to 4.4 tons - and was the best selling model in thirteen countries and in the camper van segment. Today, three out of four camper van owners travel in a Fiat Professional Ducato-based motorhome, which has been chosen by 500,000 families for over ten years.
Merit for this goes to the many body variants, the square and regular shape of the loading compartment, the efficient engines and the car-like driving. This success stems from 35 years of experience: since 1981, its winning features have been gradually perfected to make Ducato become the benchmark and a trendsetter produced in over 10,000 variants and sold in more than 80 countries worldwide. A global model, a benchmark for the category and a matchless success.
The Ducato motorhome base was designed in partnership with leading European motorhome manufacturers to offer the best integrated base and living pod solutions.
Fiat Professional focuses greatly on the needs of camper van users getting to know them by establishing long-lasting partnerships and exchanges with motorhome manufacturers, by attending 10 specialised trade shows in Europe, via the dedicated https://www.fiatcamper.com website that receives an average of 52,000 visits a month, the dedicated Fiat Ducato Camper Facebook page that counts over 50,000 fans and the Fiat Camper Mobile app that has been downloaded more than 90,000 times. Fiat Professional invests time and resources to continuously improving dedicated products and services created in collaboration with Mopar, the reference brand for services, Customer Care, genuine spare parts and accessories for FCA brands.
Services by Mopar for carefree trips
Ducato motorhomes are continuously progressing in terms of product and of dedicated services that revolve around motorhome holidaymaking. The ability to listen to customers - which starts in the Customer Care Centre and continues in the Fiat Professional workshops - means being able to respond efficiently to current needs, but also to anticipate them.
This focus on the customer is cleverly summed by the "Travelling with confidence" tagline.
The basic assumption is that purchasing a motorhome means buying a holiday and not just a vehicle. For this reason, the service concept extends from product assistance to caring for customers on holiday by keeping in touch with them. More specifically, a dedicated extensive network, distributed along the routes most followed by motorhome users, a competent and knowledgeable Customer Care Centre dedicated to all motorhome owners and roadside assistance ready to spring into action across Europe and beyond.
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, camper van users can call the dedicated Customer Care Centre and speak with one of the twenty Fiat Camper Brand Ambassadors in their own language. The Ambassadors' mission is to solve the problems of customers as quickly as possible by interfacing with them and coordinating with everyone involved to ensure constant dialogue under the sign of understanding and expertise. For this reason, the dedicated team members are constantly trained and updated: they attend the major European sector-specific trade shows to keep abreast of trends and closely follow the world of motorhomes and their users.
Customer Care is increasingly integrated with roadside and workshop assistance: all motorhome users can rely on a mobile workshop ready to reach them in no fewer than 44 different countries twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Telephone support provides updates on repair times and methods to the customer and active support to workshops to facilitate troubleshooting and ensure quick delivery of spare parts. These best practices as a whole have cut the average vehicle downtime by one day which translates into one extra day of holiday in case of breakdowns: in brief, the service is extremely useful particularly for holidaymakers abroad. The success is demonstrated both by the slashing of time needed for problem-solving and by customer satisfaction which is up by 12% with respect to 2014.
Furthermore, a complete range of service all made-to-measure for the needs of motorhome users have been activated, like the essential "Maximum Care Camper" international warranty extension that covers all mechanical and electrical components of the Ducato, with various options in terms of duration and mileage, and the innovative "Fiat Ducato Camper Mobile" app which provides tourist information and has been downloaded by over 90.000 camper van users. Today, those who travel in a Ducato Motorhome can rely on over 6,500 Fiat Professional workstations equipped to maintain and repair Ducato-based campers, including over dedicated 1,800 Fiat Camper Assistance centres.
Finally, a new service named Conciergerie has been recently developed. Currently active in France, Germany and the UK, it will be extended to the rest of Europe during 2017. By calling the Camper Assistance toll-free number customers can speak with an operator and receive information on the additional service package which is free for two years from the first registration of the Ducato Euro 6 motorhome. Customers can also obtain tourist information and help in locating and booking parking areas, camp-sites, transport, restaurants and much, much more.
Of all motorhomes on the road, 73% are Ducato-based
History is important: looking back at the technical development of Ducato means retracing the evolution of recreational vehicle holidaymaking. The various generations of the model have contributed to changing and improving the habits of motorhome users and their holiday experience by providing increasingly more specific solutions for each of the many aspects of their lifestyle on-board. The sixth generation of the model has today the best answers in terms of handling, comfort, safety, performance and eco-friendliness: it was launched in 2014 to respond to customer needs by offering more technology, more efficiency and more value. And, more recently, a new range of Euro 6 engines implementing LPEGR technology was introduced. Today, the new Multijet2 Euro 6 engines are best in their power class in terms of fuel efficiency and deliver high torque at low rpms, a feature which is a highly appreciated by motorhome drivers.
For the new MultiJet2 Euro 6 engines of the motorhome bases, Fiat Professional has capitalised on its leading position to develop the solution most suited to all needs of motorhome customers by implementing one-of-kind technology.
Fiat has adopted a single approach aimed at identifying the best solutions and picked LPEGR. This technology respects the current Euro 6 standards and offers better advantages for motorhome bases compared to the SCR technology used in the past on Fiat Professional solutions dedicated to passenger transport: rational design and layout (there are no tanks or additional systems compared to Euro 5+), no AdBlue refilling, which implies simpler maintenance as a consequence, and no increase of vehicle weight, meaning that there is more for people and motorhome furniture.
The 130, 150 and 180 Multijet2 engines are also available with "Comfort Matic" robotised gearbox for a relaxing driving style.
The current, and sixth, Ducato generation boasts the highest permissible maximum weight in the segment, highest front axle load (up to 2100 kg) and highest rear axle load (up to 2500 kg) for vehicles with simple rear axles, as well as the highest maximum load.
What is more, Ducato has a small turning circle to facilitate any type of manoeuvre. The compact front end and cab have an extremely contained front overhang to the benefit of handling and optimised available living space. Another strength of the model is precisely the peerless comfort in the cab and in the day zone for occupants: safe and enjoyable driving, swivel Captain Chair style seats, adjustable steering wheel and hydraulic power steering. The exceptionally balanced chassis and specific suspensions ensure safety and dynamic behaviour in all road conditions. The vehicle is also packed with active and passive safety devices to travel with confidence: driver and passenger airbags on, ESC with ABS and EBD; LAC (Load Adaptive Control, the system that recognises the load), HBA, Roll-over mitigation and Hill Holder. Passengers can benefit from the automatic climate control system, the convenience of the Speed Limiter and Cruise Control, the fuel tank, which is now 125 litres larger, and the fittings designed to host the rear video camera. In the cab, there is a USB port with 12V recharge and a radio with Bluetooth. The aerial is built into the external rear-view mirror.
The Ducato 35th anniversary was celebrated with Promobil 2016 by being named "Best Motorhome Base Vehicle" by the readers of the prestigious German magazine. Ducato won the award for the ninth time running and is short-listed for the tenth time for the accolade again in 2017. The prestigious title, bestowed by a specialised publication confirms that the Fiat Professional best-seller is the undisputed leader in the sector and the benchmark for all European motorhome manufacturers. Certainly this is not an honorary award to celebrate past glory. On the opposite, it is further confirmation of the efficacy of the innovative Fiat Professional programme that fostered the Fiat Ducato as an exceptional chassis and perfect base to become a motorhome.
Turin, 22 December 2016