Features & Interviews Van

New Pro-Centers provide 24-hour service

30 April 2015 #Features & Interviews #Van

The new Mercedes-Benz Vito van went on sale this month, the first time a van manufacturer has made front and rear-wheel-drive variants available in this size category. Currently most competitors are offered with front-wheel-drive only.

Steve Bridge, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Vans in the UK (pictured), told Transport News Brief that because the van was launched in Europe last September, it means virtually the whole range will be available in the UK from launch. “It allows us to come to market with everything pretty much straight away. Dealers are taking orders now and we’ve seen lots advance orders even before its debut at the CV Show,” he said.Steve Bridge 2

Mercedes-Benz Vans has also recently launched Van ProCenters to provide an enhanced level of service to van customers, and the dealer network is currently being trained in the principles of Van Pro. Bridge said: “We have seven dealers that are fully accredited, and the remaining 85% of the dealer network is now going through the process. This means 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.”

Besides extended opening hours, Van ProCenters will offer dedicated van sales and service advisers, a test drive of any Mercedes-Benz van model within 48 hours, and a collection and delivery service, including a replacement vehicle.

“A customer who buys a vehicle in, say, Oxford and then drives to Glasgow should get the same experience from the dealer there”, explained Bridge.“In time, all 20 van dealers will have achieved Van Pro accreditation. It’s an on-going process 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.”

Mercedes-Benz’s van business will also handle sales of the pick-up truck that the company recently announced would join the range by the end of the decade. Bridge confirmed: “It will be coming to the UK. There’s a question over the market size in the UK and we have work to do on that. When you look at that segment, it is quite small.”

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