Fleet News

Mercedes-Benz 360-van deal challenge to Ford domination

MERCEDES-Benz is continuing to make significant inroads into Ford's domination of the van market with another large fleet deal. The latest in a long line of contract wins is a 360-van deal with Granada Technology's service fleet. It follows the 3,000-vehicle contract with Northgate Motor Holdings earlier this year and a number of smaller deals.

Funded on operating lease over three years by Mercedes-Benz Finance, the Sprinter 308D vans are being supplied by Arlington of Bedford. Granada switched from a mixed fleet consisting primarily of Vauxhall Astra estates and Ford Transits to capitalise on the extra space to store a larger stock of spares, enabling its engineers to repair more equipment on site rather than returning to service centres.

The Sprinter's flat floor, side door and interior racking will effectively turn the vehicles into mobile workshops - significantly reducing the turnaround time and improving service for TV and audio rental customers. The vehicles involved are high-roof versions equipped with special racking and security systems developed by Peterborough-based Vehicle Protection and installed by Mercedes-Benz UK at its Commercial Vehicle Preparation Centre.

Mercedes-Benz finance manager - fleet sales Steve Jackson said: 'This has significantly reduced mileage of the fleet, which has an impact on residual values, whole life costs and overall lease costs. Mercedes is now the largest single supplier of ambulances - ahead of Ford - and has clinched a number of important deals. There are many more in the pipeline.'

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