Commercial lighting specialist Litenow is committed to helping its customers reduce their carbon emissions and cut costs. No surprise, then, that the latest additions to its van fleet are Mercedes-Benz Citans with fuel-saving BlueEFFICIENCY packages.
The Reading-based company provides a comprehensive indoor and outdoor lighting service, using the latest technologies. Its three Long-bodied Citan 109 CDIs arrived via local dealer Rygor Commercials and are the subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
The Citan was launched in January and marks the entry of Mercedes-Benz into the small van market. The inherent economy of the 109 CDI model’s 90 hp diesel engine is enhanced for Litenow by a series of clever BlueEFFICIENCY measures including the ECO start/stop function – which turns off the engine whenever the vehicle is stopped in traffic, then restarts it as soon as the driver depresses the clutch – low rolling resistance tyres and optimised alternator and battery management systems. The result is a market-leading economy figure of up to 65.7 mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 112 g/km.
Litenow helps businesses reduce their energy usage and has assigned its new Citans to lighting engineers who visit customer premises to install and maintain systems.
Managing Director Steve Hiscox explains: "We were looking for a vehicle that would compliment our company’s ethos of energy use reduction and the Citan BlueEFFICIENCY does just that.
"We ran a Mercedes-Benz Vito van for a couple of years and it was a first-rate vehicle, but just too big for our needs. The Citan, by contrast, is the perfect size for the job. It can carry all of the tools and equipment our engineers need – we hire in specialist access equipment when necessary – but is very economical to operate, particularly in London where we have a lot of customers."
Mr Hiscox attended Rygor’s Citan launch event and was highly impressed, particularly with the vehicle’s comprehensive array of active and passive safety features. "We take our Duty of Care commitments to staff and other road users very seriously," he continues.
"The Citan’s fuel efficiency and long service intervals translate into highly attractive monthly contract hire payments while this acquisition method also means the vans don’t appear on our balance sheet, which suits the gearing of the business right now. The road fund licence, maintenance and breakdown cover are all taken care of – all we need to do is add fuel, and not very often."
A Mercedes-Benz C-Class car driver, Mr Hiscox believes that operating vans bearing three-pointed stars can only enhance his company’s image. "When customers see a vehicle of this quality arrive at their premises they will hopefully associate it with the quality of our own service," he says.
And he adds: "I’ve been very impressed with the service from Rygor Commercials. The dealer’s Van Sales Executive Elena Eton kept me fully informed throughout the delivery phase and made all the necessary arrangements with the suppliers that ply-lined the vans and applied our liveries."
Litenow was formed in 2010 to specialise in energy saving lighting systems. It has since enjoyed impressive growth – the firm covers London and the South-East from its Reading headquarters, while customers in the South-West, Wales and the Midlands are served from an office near Bristol.
Mercedes-Benz Citan panel van versions are also available in Compact and Extra-long lengths. 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. The Citan has a volume carrying capacity of up to 3.8 m³ and a maximum payload potential of 735 kg.