Courier firm boss Des Johnson had a special reason to attend the launch by Mercedes-Benz dealer Ciceley Commercials of the first city van to wear a three-pointed star – despite not having seen the exciting new Citan ‘in the metal’, he’d already ordered one!
Mr Johnson, Managing Director of Crewe-based NLH Express Deliveries, joined van operators from across the north-west at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium, to see Mercedes-Benz UK Van Sales & Marketing Director Steve Bridge and Ciceley Commercials Dealer Principal Mike Lewis unveil the new model.
The Citan marks the entry of Mercedes-Benz into the small van market. Packed with clever features, it is powered by a fuel-efficient diesel engine which is offered with 75 hp, 90 hp and 110 hp power outputs, or a 114 hp petrol unit.
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.
Mr Johnson, whose company runs a fleet of 70 vans in which Mercedes-Benz is the dominant marque, has ordered a Citan 109 CDI panel van in smart metallic grey.
"As soon as we heard Mercedes-Benz was launching a small van we were very interested," he recalls. "Vehicles of this size offer many advantages – they’re good for smaller consignments and work in rural areas, on narrow roads or locations with tight access.
"Plus, of course, the Citan’s class-leading fuel economy and low emissions figures mean it is extremely cost-effective to operate."
He continues: "The service and support we get from Mercedes-Benz and Ciceley Commercials is first class. When the dealer’s sales executive Mike Scappaticci first came to see me some years ago, he made promises about the level of after care we could expect to receive which I though were very bold. But Ciceley has delivered on every one.
"Its Bolton and Blackburn workshop teams are highly professional, helpful and efficient. Nothing is ever too much trouble and they pull out all the stops to keep our vans out on the road and earning their keep."
Guests at Ciceley Commercials’ launch event were able to put various Citan models through their paces on the roads around the Reebok Stadium. Meanwhile, their names were entered into a prize draw with lucky customer David Elgey, owner of Gretna courier firm David Elgey Services, winning the use of a Citan for six months.