He may have been selling Mercedes-Benz vans for three decades, but keen campanologist Mike Nicklin can’t wait to ring in the New Year.
That’s because Mike, who is celebrating 30 years as a sales executive with Stoke-on-Trent dealer Enza, is looking forward to January’s launch of the Mercedes-Benz Citan, the first city van to wear a three-pointed star.
Its arrival means that for the first time in his long sales career, Mike can offer van operators a total range solution.
Mike, who practices campanology – bell ringing – at St Thomas’ Church near his home in Kidsgrove, said: "I well remember the launch in 1996 of the now established Mercedes-Benz Vito. The smallest Mercedes van we’d yet seen, it opened lots of new doors to sales specialists like me, and has gone on to become an outstanding success.
"The Citan’s introduction is even more exciting, though, because it’s plugged the final gap in our range and means we now retail a complete family of vans."
Mike has no plans to slow down and is looking forward to using the new model’s appeal to forge links with many new customers. "I still enjoy the day-to-day interaction with operators, while the fact that every deal is different and presents a fresh challenge means the job has never lost its interest," he said.
"Things have certainly changed a lot in my time here though. Mercedes-Benz vans have always led the way in terms of reliability and durability, but today’s vehicles are so much safer and more comfortable than their equivalents of 30 years ago. The customers have changed too, and these days I regularly find myself dealing with the sons and daughters of people who bought from me in the early years."
Powerful yet economic, spacious but compact, and nimble while also sturdy, the Citan is available in various sizes and with specifications to suit all applications. There are three model variants, with three different body lengths, and four power ratings.
In addition to panel versions, Mercedes-Benz offers a Citan Dualiner, which comes in Extra Long format and combines its folding rear bench seat with a practical cargo space, and Citan Traveliner in Long format, which has a folding rear bench seat and can also carry the driver and up to four passengers.
All share the combination of superb build quality, low operating costs, smart professional image, winning driver appeal and uncompromising safety standards for which Mercedes-Benz vans are renowned.