The UK’s leading lawn care specialist has unveiled the all-new van model that will be driving its commitment to “give wonderful lawns and exceptional customer service” – the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Vito.
Loud applause broke out among the 250 delegates attending GreenThumb’s annual conference as the wraps came off the very first example of the new model to be seen in Britain. The Long-bodied Vito 111 CDI wore the company’s eye-catching new vinyl wrap livery and, especially for the occasion, a humorous set of door mirror covers.
GreenThumb was founded in 1986 by Chief Executive Officer Stephen Waring. Its franchisees run a combined fleet of more than 750 vans and provide a complete lawn care service to customers, carrying out in excess of two million treatments every year.
The decision to switch from its previous vans to Mercedes-Benz vehicles supplied by North-West Dealer Roanza, was one of several key announcements made at the conference. Other initiatives designed to underpin GreenThumb’s ambitious growth strategy include the appointments of new National Sales and Customer Service Managers, the creation of a Customer Service Training Academy for operatives, developments by the company’s Technical team of advanced new fertilisers and grass seeds, and the launch of a brighter, livelier and more user-friendly website.
The new Mercedes-Benz Vito, which makes its official debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show in April, raises the bar in terms of performance, efficiency, safety and all-round quality. In a ‘first’ for the medium-sized van segment, customers can opt for front or rear wheel-drive – the 111 CDI model as specified by GreenThumb is powered by a 114 hp 1.6-litre engine which drives the front wheels.
Mercedes-Benz expects to supply in the region of 120 vans this year, with the remainder of the fleet being replaced before the end of 2017 – GreenThumb stipulates that the vehicles which bear its name must be no more than three years old. Its next-generation Vito models will be the subject of attractively priced CharterWay contract hire agreements from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, with maintenance and repairs undertaken by members of the manufacturer’s 24-hour UK Dealer network.
GreenThumb ran Mercedes-Benz vehicles from 2007 until 2010, and Roanza Van Sales Manager Leanne Walsh and her colleagues still enjoy strong relationships with many of the franchisees to whom they will now be delivering new vans nationwide.
Speaking at the company’s conference, which was staged at The Belfry, in Sutton Coldfield, Managing Director David Griffiths said: “GreenThumb are pleased to be associated with Mercedes-Benz Vans once again, and it has been a pleasure working with them to finalise our business relationship. The new Vito is ideal as a quality vehicle that will enhance our reputation with our approximately 500,000 happy customers. I am sure that these two iconic brands will complement each other perfectly.”
Founder Stephen Waring also welcomed the fact that the two companies were once again doing business. “I have always believed that we are a perfect ‘fit’ for each other,” he said. “GreenThumb is a premium provider of lawn care services while the Mercedes-Benz brand is all about prestige and quality. Our vans are our shop window and I’ve no doubt that in the stunning new GreenThumb livery they will be turning heads wherever they go.”