The new Mercedes-Benz Vito range will be launched at the CV Show on 14 April. Managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans in the UK, Steve Bridge, told us what customers will be offered from launch.
“On this occasion it’s reasonably helpful that right-hand drive was a little bit behind because it does allow us to come to market with pretty much everything straight away,” says Bridge. A select group of fleet and SME customers will see the van ahead of the launch at the CV Show. “Dealers are actually taking orders now in advance, which is actually quite encouraging because a lot of people want to drive before they place an order.”
As Vito is being launched, Mercedes has also begun to roll out its Van ProCenters to handle Mercedes van sales and servicing across the UK.
“The dealer network is being trained in the principles of Van Pro,” says Bridge. “We have seven dealers that are fully accredited and the remaining 85% of the dealer network is now in the process. This then means that we have a unique identity for the van business and we also have the facilities that go with a commercial vehicle network of 24-hour, seven days a week availability.”
Dedicated van sales and service advisers are very much part of the Van ProCenter package, along with extended opening hours and a collection and delivery service. All 20 Mercedes van dealers in the network will gain accreditation in time. All are based at Mercedes truck dealers where the facilities are already offering extended hours servicing and facilities for heavier models.
“It’s an on-going process,” says Bridge. “Because once they get accreditation, it’s not an accreditation for life. It isn’t a case of just putting some flags up and painting the tarmac. A customer who buys a vehicle in, say, Oxford and then drives to Glasgow should get the same experience from the dealer there.”