The Mercedes Vito is a van on a mission
The new Vito from Mercedes was a big hit at the recent Commercial Vehicle Show 2015. This van is seen by Mercedes as the vehicle that will change people's attitudes and increase the company's share in this lucrative sector.
The MD of Mercedes-Benz Vans, Steve Bridge, said he hoped that the Vito would make potential customers realise what Mercedes has to offer, adding: "It's not only whole-life costs that makes buying decisions; some of it is dimensions or habitual. What tends to happen with fleets is that they stick with the brand they have always had and each manufacturer settles into its own niche. Everyone knows their place but we have to change some of those habits."
Mercedes split its truck and van department last year. The result of this action is still to be seen; however, Mr Bridge is focusing on brand marketing rather than sales volume. He wants to see the company doing a better job of pushing the brand and improving the whole marketing chain, from the product to the dealer network to aftersales. Mr Bridge believes that if the marketing is right, then the sales will come naturally; if Mercedes improves in these areas, then customers will choose accordingly.
Some manufacturers in the van sector are too obsessed with volume, Mr Bridge feels, and he wants to be different and "delight the customer".