Return of RAI Amsterdam Truck Show Signals Optimism

May 03, 2012

After a five-year absence, the Amsterdam Truck Show in Holland is back. Now named BedrijfsautoRAI, it returned late last month with a selection of heavy trucks, light trucks and vans, special vehicles and parts and accessories.



The return of the five-day event, which had more than 180 exhibitors, reflects last year's recovery in new truck sales and the confidence of the marketplace. The number of hybrids and all-electric vehicles on display also were a sign of the times.

Last time the event took place, in September 2007, it was known as the European Road Transport Show, or TERTS. That year held an all-time-high in numbers of exhibitors, show area and visitors. Due to the weak economy in 2009, the Amsterdam show was canceled that autumn, especially after domestic truck manufacturer DAF officially announced it would not participate.

The RAI show is planned to run again in the same period every second year from now. Unlike previous events, the show now occurs on even years, which is the same year as the huge IAA show in Hannover, Germany, and the Elmia LASTBIL Show in Sweden.

The 2012 event brought the show back to its original concept of the '60s and '70s, when this very much was a local expo for the Benelux markets. The RAI Truck Show then used happen in early February, almost as a sign of spring.

The exhibition had a new cost-efficient and future-oriented stand-building concept that ensured exhibitors a good opportunity to present themselves without skyrocketing investments. Gone were the extravaganza and extensive bar and catering facilities, in favor of a down-to-earth product focus on the floor. For the visitor, the show was clearly comprehensible and easy to grasp.

Daimler had a total of 19 commercial vehicles at the show. Five were from subsidiary Fuso, which launched its brand new 4x4 versions of Canter up to 6.5 tons GVW, including one with a crew cab. They are all equipped with a 3-liter 175-horsepower (129 kW) engine. Ground clearance is up to 12.6 inches. Payload capacity is impressive, between 7,716 and 8,234 pounds.

Euro 6 Emissions

Euro 6 emissions legislation will come into force in the European Union on Jan. 1, 2014. Compared with the current Euro 5 standard, Euro 6 requires that nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions must be reduced by a further 77%, while soot particle emissions must be cut by 66%.

In concrete terms, this means that nitrogen oxide emissions have to be reduced from 2.0 to 0.46 grams/kWh, and soot particle emissions from 0.03 to as little as 0.01 grams/kWh.

In addition, Euro 6 engines must meet these stringent requirements for a minimum of seven years or 700,000 km, in all operating conditions. In the future, authorities will carry out random checks to ensure that vehicles in service are compliant with these standards, and new on-board diagnostics systems will warn the driver in the event that this is not the case.

DAF with Euro 6

Holland's own DAF (a subsidiary of Paccar) was represented by a massive row of silver-soft-blue vehicles, and RAI was the site for DAF's official launch of the Paccar MX 12.9-liter in Euro 6 execution.

This engine uses ultra-modern common rail technology and has a turbo with variable geometry and advanced controls for maximum efficiency. To comply with the Euro6 requirements it has exhaust gas recirculation and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology with an active soot filter.

DAF's Advanced Transport Efficiency (ATe) program was launched in the summer of 2011 with enhancements to the 12.9-liter Paccar MX engine, to reduce fuel consumption and to lower CO2 emissions. Also part of the Ate program was the introduction of modified 12-speed automated gearbox, ASTronic from ZF, which has been sold as the Freedom Transmission in U.S. by Meritor.

These transmissions allows the driveline to be tailored to the specific use of the truck. It saves an additional 2%-3% of fuel. These batteries have a longer service life, which add to lower operational costs. The CF85 and XF105 ATe Edition models on display are fully optimized for low fuel consumption, equipped with side skirts, side fenders and roof spoilers and low rolling resistance tires.

The LF45 medium distribution truck (much like the Kenworth K270 and Peterbilt 210) with an aero body was also on display. It has an aerodynamic body which is already available in the UK, and now introduced for the rest of Europe. The latest new product in the DAF trucks booth at the Amsterdam Truck Show is the new DAF SR1360T tandem axle. It saves more than 5% fuel consumption due to the fact that it is about 825 pounds lighter than the existing tandem axle with hub reduction.

Also ready for Euro 6 is Iveco's 11-liter Cursor using SCR technology. Both Mercedes and Scania have had their Euro 6 solutions on the market for a while. Their solutions also appeared at the show.

Citano Sneak Preview

Although the upcoming new city van from Mercedes, Citano, was not displayed on the RAI Expo, it was shown for some 250 trade journalist the evening before RAI opened. The preview took place in the Amsterdam Bourse building. This is the first hands-on evidence of the Daimler- Renault/Nissan cooperation agreement.

Citano is based on the Renault Kangoo platform. It has a similar engine and will be built in France. Supposedly Citano is the missing part in the jigsaw puzzle that will make the Mercedes transport product range complete.

"It looks like and performs like a true Mercedes" said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

At the Hannover IAA show in September, Citano will be officially introduced.