One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of marinated chicken and accompaniments has commissioned a new fleet of temperature-controlled Mercedes-Benz vans to distribute its products nationwide.
West Midlands-based manufacturer Theo’s has relied on vans bearing the three-pointed star since it began trading in 1992. The firm started out with a handful of pre-owned models – its latest batch of 12 Sprinter 316 CDIs illustrates just how far it has come since.
Theo’s operates from headquarters in Aldridge and supplies its mouth-watering range of healthy-eating, marinated chicken dishes as well as sauces and breads to a huge variety of customers, including restaurants and takeaways, schools, hospitals and businesses.
The company was recently audited by the British Retail Consortium and came through with flying colours, achieving the top, AA Grade certification for the quality of its products and processes.
As previously, Theo’s acquired its latest, high-roofed, Medium-length Sprinters from Dealer Midlands Truck & Van. Its first low-emission Euro 6 models, they are powered by impressively economical, smooth and responsive 163 hp engines.
Their insulated conversions, meanwhile, are by Paneltex Somers, of Norwich – its Direct Air System utilises the airflow over the windscreen to improve fridge performance and fuel efficiency, as well as enhancing the vehicle’s appearance.
Nine have replaced older vehicles which have been stood down. However, in a move that reflects strong demand for its products, Theo’s has also added an extra three to a fleet which now extends to 25 vans.
“Our loyalty to Mercedes-Benz is well established over nearly a quarter of a century,” confirmed Managing Director Theo Gavriel, whose father Chris founded the family business – Mr Gavriel senior, who is now Chairman, named the company after his own father, who was also called Theo.
“Our reputation is based on the outstanding quality of our UK-sourced food products, which are tailored to support a balanced diet without compromising on taste or image. It is imperative, therefore, that we use only the best vans to distribute our products – and that means Mercedes-Benz.”
Theo’s provides a nationwide service, delivering to customers as far afield as Scotland and Cornwall, Wales and Norfolk. Its latest Sprinters are equipped with advanced temperature monitoring systems and, for optimum flexibility, adjustable and removable bulkheads so they can be configured to carry either frozen or chilled products, or a combination of the two in proportions tailored to suit the delivery route.
“We have tried other makes of van in the past but they struggle to cope with our demanding work,” continued Mr Gavriel. “Our Sprinters, by contrast, combine a great image with impressively low running costs, environmental compatibility and market-leading safety features, as well as the all-important reliability and durability we need.
“With these latest vehicles we’ve opted for a top-of-the-range conversion based on a chassis which leads the market in terms of its quality and environmental compatibility. It is a premium-quality combination that reflects the values of our own business.”
To ensure maximum vehicle ‘uptime’ Theo’s has again taken out Mercedes-Benz Service Care Plans under which the Dealer is responsible for maintaining and repairing the new vehicles.
“Midlands Truck & Van’s workshop team are brilliant,” said Mr Gavriel. “They’re open 24 hours a day and understand the importance of keeping our vans out on the road. On the odd occasions that unplanned maintenance is required they invariably turn us round very quickly.”
Instead of taking up the previous option and leasing its new Sprinters, the company has signed-up this time to a flexible Agility agreement from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Agility offers all the benefits of hire purchase with a balloon payment, including low monthly outgoings, but provides customers with a range of options at the end of the term.
Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, Theo’s Sprinters are backed by three-year, unlimited mileage warranties and MobiloVan cover, which includes free roadside assistance for up to 30 years, provided they continue to be maintained with the manufacturer’s official Dealer Network.