5 minutes with…
Toyota’s LCV Manager, Gareth Matthews, who talks about this year’s CV Show and why it is a key event for his team and Toyota’s ambitions in the UK.
Why is the CV Show important to you?
We returned to the CV show in 2016, using it as a platform to launch our message of being “Back in Business with Commercial Vehicles.” As one of the biggest CV shows in Europe, we felt it was the best opportunity, in one central location, to display new models in the pipeline and introduce them to customers.
What are you highlighting/showcasing at the show this year?
This year is highly significant for us as we introduce our first battery electric vehicles into our commercial vehicle line-up. The show is the UK debut of Proace City Electric, having launched Proace Electric earlier in the year. We can now offer customers a choice of battery electric powertrains on our van range alongside our diesel models.
Favourite CV Show memory?
Each year is memorable in its own way with the anticipation of presenting new product to media and customers. However, 2019 is memorable as it was the European launch of Proace City, our first venture into the CDV segment, and a significant expansion of our product line-up as we promised in 2016. 2019 saw many of our colleagues in other European distributors coming to visit us on the stand.
Advice for anyone attending the show for the first time?
There’s always a lot to see at the show and, and there’s probably too much ground to cover in one day. It pays to think about which companies you’re most interested in seeing first, and then make a beeline for them when you arrive. For the most important, you could contact them in advance to see if you can arrange a time to meet. That way you’ll know if the right people will be available.
As an exhibitor, it’s important to save some time to explore the show and network off your stand. It can be a great way of finding fresh ideas, as well as seeing what other exhibitors are doing. This way you can pick up on some best practices that could really help going forward. After the show finishes, meet up for a debrief and discuss what worked and what we could improve, so that there’s plenty of time to incorporate into the plans for the next show.
What are your anticipated highlights for this year? Other than your own demonstration, what are you most looking forward to seeing, or what is your tip for the top tech-to-watch out for?
From our perspective the technology we will be looking at is battery electric vehicles. This is a small but growing segment of the commercial vehicle market in the UK and we are now in a position to cater for businesses that need to adapt for the increasing number of emission free zones being introduced in city centres around the country.
Gareth Matthews, Toyota’s LCV Manager