Dunlop Agencies prides itself on providing wholesale and retail customers with a ‘one-stop shop’ solution – and in Dealer Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van (NI) it has a valued supplier that provides the same, all-embracing level of service.
Founded 30 years ago by Managing Director Barry Dunlop, the Carryduff-based company supplies an extensive range of branded non-food products to the grocery, forecourt, hardware, electrical and pharmacy sectors. The list includes everything from batteries to bulbs, car care to confectionery, household goods to hardware, and shoe cleaning materials to smoking requisites.
Dunlop Agencies has relied for many years on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans, to make deliveries within 48 to 72 hours of orders being placed. Now it is running its first examples from the Citan small van range launched by Mercedes-Benz in 2013.
The two 109 CDI Long models are assigned to a couple of the company’s six sales representatives, who previously drove car-derived vans by another manufacturer. They are the first vehicles to wear the company’s striking new livery.
Mr Dunlop placed his order after a week-long trial of one of Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van (NI)’s demonstration models. “The mpg returns were in the late 40s, which represented a significant improvement on the vans we’d been using,” he recalled. “The guys were also really impressed with the comfort and all-round quality of the Citan.”
The demonstrator was equipped with an optional Driver’s Pack comprising electric folding mirrors, a centre armrest with stowage, air-conditioning and Parktronic parking sensors, and Mr Dunlop has specified the same optional upgrade for his own vehicles.
“Their vans are effectively mobile offices in which our employees spend several hours each day, so we like to provide them with vehicles they’re going to enjoy driving,” he continued. “In return, we expect them to take a professional pride in their vans, and to look after them as if they were their own.”
The latest additions to the Dunlop Agencies fleet are the subject of a highly flexible Agility funding package with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. This offers all the benefits of conventional hire purchase with a balloon payment – including low monthly repayments – but gives operators extra options at the end of the term.
Key to the Agility concept is an agreed Guaranteed Future Value (GFV) for the vehicle. At the end of the term the customer can choose whether to pay off the final lump sum and keep the vehicle, extend the agreement by spreading the balloon payment over a further term, or return it free of any further obligations, apart from an excess mileage charge if the initially agreed limit has been exceeded, and damage charges over and above fair wear and tear.
Dunlop Agencies’ Citans are each contracted to clock-up 25,000 miles a year and will be maintained by Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van (NI) under a Service Care agreement; this covers all labour, parts and lubricants required in routine servicing, in return for a fixed monthly payment.
“Our Mercedes-Benz vans have always performed with flawless reliability, while the three-pointed star is a byword for quality and can only enhance Dunlop Agencies’ own image,” added Mr Dunlop. “We’re also conscious of our Duty of Care, and take great comfort from the fact that Mercedes-Benz vehicles are the safest on the road.
“Factor in the competitively priced funding and servicing arrangements, which allow us to budget with complete confidence, and the Dealer’s excellent service, and you can see why we think of Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van (NI) as our ‘one-stop shop’ vehicle provider.”