Ayrshire businessman Alan Rafferty has become one of the first customers in Britain for a brand new van model from Mercedes-Benz.
Mr Rafferty is the Managing Director of Stewarton-based ARF Engineering & Construction Services, which is now running two Citans with fuel-saving BlueEFFICIENCY packages.
They were delivered by Mercedes-Benz Commmercial Vehicles Ayr Sales Executive Andrew Harper after the dealer’s Citan launch event, which was staged at The Park Hotel in Kilmarnock.
The Citan marks the entry of Mercedes-Benz into the small van market. Panel van versions are available in three lengths – Compact, Long and Extra-long. The Citan Traveliner is based on the Long wheelbase and has a folding rear bench seat, allowing it to carry the driver and up to four passengers. The Citan Dualiner, meanwhile, has the same seating configuration but, because it is based on the Extra-long format, also offers a practical cargo space.
Packed with clever features, ARF’s new vans are both 109 CDI versions with 90 hp diesel engines – the Citan is also offered with 75 hp and 110 hp diesels, or a 114 hp petrol unit. One is a Dualiner, the other an Extra-long panel van.
Mr Rafferty, who founded his business in 1996, traded in a larger, five-year-old Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.
"The Sprinter’s been very reliable and we’ll probably replace it later in the year," he explains. "But a lot of our work for local authorities and housing associations entails response maintenance jobs to public buildings, schools and the like – we might only be relaying two or three slabs, or renewing a bit of brick wall, so the smaller, more fuel-efficient Citan makes a lot more sense economically.
"I really like the look of the Citan, while Mercedes-Benz also has a great brand image," he continues. "The three-pointed star can only enhance the profile and reputation for quality of our own company."
ARF Engineering & Construction Services has signed-up to a contract maintenance agreement with Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Ayr. "So we don’t have to worry about anything beyond driving our new vans," adds Mr Rafferty.
The Mercedes-Benz Citan has a volume carrying capacity of up to 3.8 m³ and a maximum payload potential of 735 kg. It leads the small van market in terms of fuel efficiency, achieving up to 65.7 mpg and producing CO2 emissions as low as 112 g/km.
John Johnston, Group Sales Manager at Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Ayr (which has a ‘sister’ dealership in Aberdeen) says: "The Citan is a very exciting addition to the Mercedes-Benz van range and we’re offering some highly competitive and flexible finance packages that can put customers behind the wheel for as little as £6.95 a day."