Four people, four vans, four love stories.

Two men working on a gutted L 319

MYVAN has interviewed four passionate Mercedes-Benz van enthusiasts who could not be more different. Yet they all owe their vans more than a little.

The vans with the star are famously adaptable.

Whereas some people only use their vans for their own private purposes, for others their work would not be possible without their van. MYVAN introduces people from four different walks of life: a barista team, an exceptional athlete, a collector of classic vehicles and an entrepreneur. They all have one thing in common: they need a van that will not let them down. The vast differences between the needs and preferences demonstrate just how versatile and adaptable Mercedes-Benz vans are.

The N 1300 from Combi Coffee.

The two brothers, Francisco and Gonçalo, and their friend João all agreed on one thing: they didn’t want to open another typical café but rather a mobile café bar. Yet more than just mobile, their café on wheels also had to be visually appealing. The three purchased a Mercedes-Benz N 1300 from a surfer. A few of these classic vans can still be found in Spain. The classic van is the backbone of Combi Coffee – above all because of its reliability and durability. Plus, the exotic green van is an absolute eye-catcher. Its beautiful vintage look magically attracts passers-by and is the foundation for the success of Combi Coffee. The three Portuguese baristas have found the perfect Mercedes-Benz van for their start-up.

An N 1300 converted into a café bar parked at a pier with palm trees in the background

In Porto, you can find strong coffee surrounded by the sound of the sea at Combi Coffee.

The Spaniard and the L 319.

The coast of Cantabria hosts an impressive collection of L 319 vans. Fran lost his heart to Mercedes-Benz vehicles when his father sat him behind the wheel of his W 123 300 D when he was a child. For many years, the likeable Spanish engineer has been collecting, restoring and driving the legendary L 319 and they have become his life’s work. A hybrid of car and commercial vehicle, the L 319 filled a gap in the market in the 1950s and for many years it dominated the segment that other manufacturers would later compete for. Its irresistible charm is one of the reasons why so many people fall in love with the van so quickly.

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Olympic silver and the Vito.

Top athletic performance demands hard work, an iron will and the right support. Her silver medal at the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio reflects the hard work of the Irish sailor, Annalise Murphy. The development of her career reflects her iron will. Her Vito Mixto supports her on her journey to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She transports her sailboat on the roof. Yet that is not all: she also transports her trainer’s small motorboat everywhere on a trailer, as well. This enables her to travel to competitions with everything she needs. Annalise reveals to MYVAN that her favourite feature of the Vito is the seat heating that keeps her warm after cold training days.

Ofen Weiss and the Sprinter.

The sons and daughters of the Weiss family have been stove makers for ten generations. With traditional quality and passion, the family from Calw in Germany manufactures stoves, tiles stoves and heating stoves for every taste. Their fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles supports their work. The Sprinter transports the diverse range of tools and materials that they need for their true craftsmanship. The managing director, Volker Weiss, especially appreciates the step at the front of the Sprinter which enables him to quickly clean the windscreen. And the stove maker enjoys the ability to stand in the cargo area of the Sprinter without any restrictions while he collects the right tools for the next job.

A craftsman stands in front of a business building next to a Vito and a Sprinter

Ofen Weiss uses Mercedes-Benz vehicles for its daily work.

Photos: Louis Cieplik

More Links to explore: Annalise Murphy  – @Instagram, @Facebook. Combi Coffee – @Instagram, @Facebook. Ofen Weiss – ofenweiss.de 

Vito

The Vito helps you get ahead – both out on the road and in your business. Its cost-effectiveness and quality are as exemplary as its versatility and safety.

Mercedes-Benz Vito
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MVMANT in the Sprinter: artificial intelligence under palm trees.

The Italian company MVMANT solves Dubai’s transportation problems aboard a Sprinter. Thanks to artificial intelligence, this solution is both extremely sustainable and efficient.

A global problem.

A sunny afternoon in the Sicilian municipality of Catania: the city squares – surrounded by historical buildings – are bustling with activity and espressos are served at café tables, while the beautiful city at the foot of Mount Etna is filled with boisterous laughter and lively discussions. For Catania’s inhabitants, this is a familiar daily picture. To those who have to go by car, however, the city appears in a very different light. Blochin Cuius, the managing director of MVMANT (that is to say: movemant), thinks back to his time as a student in Catania: “Driving a car here is pure torture”, is how the Italian comments on the traffic situation in his native city. Above all, he regrets that there are so few passengers per vehicle. And this is not unique to Sicily. “The global average is 1.2 people per car”, Cuius explains with concern. He came to the conclusion that things could not remain this way.

A taxi sign on the roof of a taxi

A special kind of taxi service served as an inspiration for a modern shared-mobility concept.

Inspired by the local taxi service.

In Mirabella Imbaccari, a small village in Sicily, a viable solution to this problem had been found when the founders of MVMANT were only children. “There were very few private cars there and public transport was extremely rare. That gap was filled by local taxi drivers”, Blochin Cuius remembers. The taxi drivers offered a kind of modified taxi service. As they knew everybody in the village and were aware who had to go where to and when, they were able to offer an early form of what later became known as “shared mobility” services. Always using the best possible route, they transported many people as possible in their taxis, thereby reducing per capita pollutant emissions. With MVMANT, the Italians wanted to take advantage of this method by recreating it in modern form.

A Sprinter seen from behind, stopping at the roadside, with large office buildings in the background

A transporter star on the rise: the Mercedes Sprinter as a suitable vehicle for a demanding clientele.

The big breakthrough in Dubai.

MVMANT took an important step as a participant in the programme “Dubai Future Accelerators”. More than 2,200 companies had applied to join forces with the Dubai Government to develop new technologies, strategies and concepts. In the end, not more than three projects were implemented. The project initiated by Blochin Cuius is the most successful one to date. MVMANT uses artificial intelligence to cleverly combine enquiries by passengers so that as many people as possible can ride in their Sprinter. The technology behind the concept is designed to avoid unprofitable routes and minimize per capita pollutant emissions. In Dubai, the service supports many of the world’s leading technology companies whose employees benefit from flexible routes and short waiting times.

People are getting in a Sprinter in Dubai

Customers order the Sprinters via an app and are normally picked up within seven minutes.

The Sprinter as a platform for progress.

Even during the piloting phase in Ragusa, Sicily, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter proved to be the ideal partner for the innovative company. Managing director Cuius raves about the high-quality materials and the workmanship: “The high degree of convenience and the low noise level in the interior of the Sprinter are particularly appealing to our clients in Dubai.” Furthermore, our Mercedes-Benz Sprinters convey a certain prestige, a fact that plays a major role for many passengers. As they are equipped with 19 seats, there is plenty of space and this enhances the efficiency of the service. It was originally planned to use Sprinters with just eight seats, but as luck would have it, the larger versions were available more quickly. This coincidence ultimately turned out to be a real godsend for the Italian company whose service is highly frequented in the desert city of Dubai.

A chauffeur’s dream.

Like any other transport solution, this shared mobility offer requires skilled drivers. In the modern and reliable Sprinter, such drivers will find everything their heart desires. “Our team of drivers was thrilled, and after having driven the Sprinter, it would have been very difficult for them to change to another vehicle”, says MVMANT’s managing director Cuius. Lots of comfort and ergonomic seats are of great importance not only for the passengers. As the drivers spend a lot of time behind the wheel, they are particularly happy about the high degree of comfort in the Sprinter. Moreover, the vehicles offer numerous opportunities for personalisation. They can be adapted to virtually the most situation. What is more, thanks to the worldwide assistance offered by Mercedes-Benz, there is always a kind of “guardian angel” available with a mobile workshop and spare parts on site.

A Sprinter drives across the inner city of Dubai

Despite its length of almost eight metres, the long version of the Sprinter drives like a passenger car across the streets of Dubai.

Focussing on the efficiency of future mobility.

MVMANT’s most important goal for the future is consistent with its guiding principle: A little goes a long way. “We believe that the mobility of the future is mobility as a service”, Cuius predicts. “As soon as autonomous driving has become incorporated into the world of transport, private cars will be relegated to a niche existence, the congenial Italian adds.” Since unprofitable transport solutions are still to be found all over the world and there are still challenges on the first as well as the last mile, Cuius sees potential for the implementation of such a mobility concept in many cities. In close collaboration with scientists from the University of Catania, the Italian company continues to work on the improvement of their software. However, their intention is not to replace the taxi industry, but to become part of the mobility-on-demand ecosystem alongside it. “In Venice we have shown that fair conditions and intelligent division of labour will help taxi drivers to become part of this ecosystem”, Cuius explains.

A Sprinter parks in front of a hotel, a Mercedes-Benz G-class is parked in front of it

The MVMANT service helps you to leave your Mercedes-Benz G-Class at the parking space.

Photos: MVMANT, Andreas Albanese, Peter Kasprzyk

More Links to explore: mvmant.com@Instagram, @Facebook

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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EinStückLand: from idea to successful start-up – Part 2.

A couple is standing behind a shop counter

With their start-up EinStückLand, Lina and Hinrich offer an online market place for meat from free ranging animals which are kept in a species-appropriate environment. They managed to turn the idea of selling high-quality meat from well-chosen breeders and small slaughterhouses into a successful business model.

A business model based on fair intentions.

The two founders first came up with the idea for their start-up at Christmas 2016. “My father asked us if we wanted to market Galloway cattle in Hamburg. His herd was becoming too big and there were not enough buyers”, Hinrich reports. That gave them food for thought. Both of them quickly realized: They did not want to devote all that effort to a one-off campaign. Therefore, they spontaneously asked other breeders if they had marketing problems as well. Their model for success? According to Lina and Hinrich, proper planning and motivation are the most important things when it comes to founding a company. “It was not our principal objective to become rich. This also means that you do not rip off your business partners or keep pressing them for the lowest prices.” The farmer and the butchers involved receive the most money from all the companies in the chain, followed by the founders themselves and their logistics specialist. “That was important to us from the outset.”

You have to stand fully behind your own idea and build up your business with a certain idealism.
A woman with a package is running towards a delivery van

More than just organic: For the start-up company, good taste begins by raising animals which are healthy and grow up in a species-appropriate environment.

This is how the foundation a success.

Lina’s and Hinrich’s best tips for the successful foundation of a company:

  1. Believe in your idea and be totally motivated.
  2. Always keep on track even though, at least initially, everybody seems to know better.
  3. Invest enough money and establish a limited liability company, for example.
  4. Bring a legal counsel on board and clarify from the start how to protect your interests adequately.
  5. Stick together when founding a company with one or more partners. Money isn’t everything!

  • A man packs glasses into a cardboard box
  • A box filled with packaged meat and lined with straw insulation
  • A box with a label from EinStückLand is marked with a stamp
  • A man hands a parcel with the inscription “EinStückLand” to a parcel delivery man

Completely sustainable: the shipping process.

Lina and Hinrich receive the eartag as well as information on the age, gender and pedigree of the animal from the farmer. Once the cattle has been marketed, it is taken to the butcher. It requires time to do a thing well: It takes at least two-and-a-half weeks until the meat is well hung. Then, the couple picks up the meat from the butcher and packs it. When it comes to the shipping carton, they also take care to live up to their sustainable philosophy. It consists of a straw insulation and cold packs filled with water. The meat packages are distributed throughout Germany via express delivery by their logistics partner with a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. In this way, the vacuumed meat arrives in a cooled state. The customers can freeze the meat straight away so that it will last him for several weeks. “Our customers mostly come from households with two to five people and include all age groups.

A Sprinter drives along a avenue

EinStückLand cooperates with a logistics partner who distributes the meat packages overnight.

A man runs towards a parking van

When the meat is processed, the boxes are delivered well-cooled to the customer’s home.

Every beginning is hard, especially when you are a founder.

A lot of hard work was involved in what seemed well-designed from start to finish and sounded like a perfect business idea. One obstacle was the foundation of a GmbH (limited liability corporation) and the process of finding a name. Even worse: In the beginning, Lina and Hinrich were unable to find a butcher with whom they wanted to cooperate. “This could have resulted in the failure of the entire project.” And what are the everyday challenges of a start-up? “You are always faced with new situations. Initially, there is neither regularity nor an established routine. This means you always have to be on your toes and mustn’t allow yourself to get stressed out. Besides, you have to be immune to the fact that for a while everybody will identify you exclusively with your start-up.”

Looking into the future with a clear conscience.

Lina and Hinrich want to provide fresh ideas for the industry. “We want to reach all those who are tired of buying cheap meat and supporting giveaway prices.” They have committed themselves to fostering animal welfare. “The aim should be to establish more small-sized businesses rather than a few large ones.” It is planned to expand the product range: Soon there will be pork and poultry and the farm shop is due to be further expanded. Later, the product range on the internet will be widened and there is also supposed to be an online farm shop. Besides, EinStückLand will expand its business into different cities in Germany.

Pre-packed meat is put into boxes filled with straw

The boxes with fresh meat are at the core of the EinStückLand concept.

Sustainable, regional and fair: With their start-up, Lina and Hinrich want to create an alternative to meat from the discount store.

Two glasses of beef stock with a label from EinStückLand

Whatever is not sold in the boxes with fresh meat, the customers will find in “Deine Speisekammer” – the (online) farm shop.

An oblong cardboard box that says “Guten Appetit! (Enjoy your meal)”

In the farm shop, the same principle applies: Respect for living creatures and the sustainable use of resources have priority.

A couple is standing behind a shop counter

Lina and Hinrich know what good meat looks and tastes like.

Photos: Tim Wendrich

More Links to explore: einstueckland.de – @Facebook@YouTube

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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EinStückLand: Top-quality Galloway meat from northern Germany – Part 1.

A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is loaded with boxes

Top-quality meat from animals kept appropriate to the needs of the species – this is what the start-up EinStückLand stands for. The concept: The Galloway cattle will not be picked up for slaughtering before all of it has been sold.

A couple poses in front of a house entrance with the inscription “EinStückLand”

Lina and Hinrich – the couple from Hamburg is the driving force behind the start-up EinStückLand.

A piece of the land for everybody.

Lina and Hinrich founded their start-up EinStückLand in early 2017. Their mission: “We have set ourselves the tasks of taking a critical look at meat consumption patterns in Germany, encouraging people to reflect and rethink their opinions and, beyond that, offering an alternative to meat from the supermarket.” Via their online shop, they market high-quality meat from animals which were allowed to live their lives without factory farming. With their start-up they support smaller businesses, such as those of their breeders or local slaughterhouses. “The animals of our farmers grow up slowly. They defy any kind of weather and are fed with completely natural feedstuffs.” Thus, the meat is not artificially inflated with fattening feed. And this is something you can taste. The subsequent “dry aging” gives the meat its finishing touch, so to speak. The fact that this meat is a high-quality food is something customers will realize once the meat is in the frying pan as it does not lose any water during the searing process.

A Galloway-calf is suckled by its mother

EinStückLand stands for species-appropriate cattle breeding.

Premium meat from species-appropriate breeding.

Hinrich’s parents have owned their own Galloways for 32 years now. Therefore, Hinrich has always been close to the action and began to develop a love for the animals. The civil engineer and Lina, a trained nurse, want to offer an alternative to people. “The conditions existing in meat production, people’s buying behaviour and the current status of the farmers should not be accepted without demur.” With their start-up they want to show that things can be done differently. The key is to reduce meat consumption. “Meat should be consumed as a side dish only”, they think. At present, the start-up offers primarily Galloway cattle. “Ultimately, any breed is worth considering. All that needs to be done is to ensure that the animals are kept appropriate to their needs. If this is not the case, we do not offer that particular breed.” It is important to Lina and Hinrich to use the animals to the fullest. They sell edible parts, such as the tongue and the cheeks, in their farm shop “Deine Speisekammer” (your pantry) whereas the intestines are sold to dog owners. In this way, no part of the valuable meat is wasted.

The principle of “cow-sharing”.

In the villages, it used to be very common to distribute a slaughtered animal among all the villagers. Normally, each of them received one eighth of the cow. In other words, the principle of “cow-sharing” or “crowdbutching” has been in existence for decades. However, in keeping with the spirit of the age, the concept has now been given a modern name. EinStückLand relies on this long-proven method. The benefits are clear: Even before being slaughtered, the animal as a whole has been sold. Nothing is thrown away in the end and there is no overproduction.

Cattle from the pastures of Schleswig-Holstein.

The consumption of sustainable foodstuffs is a matter of vital concern to the two founders. For Lina and Hinrich, the consumption of meat is among the things that must be changed by all means. “We slaughter once a week and offer two cows for sale. When we are out of stock, the sale will restart the following week.” At the core of EinStückLand’s approach are the boxes with fresh meat. Upon delivery, they rely with their trusted logistics company on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Because: Especially on long distances you need a vehicle you can rely on, they explain. “In order to preserve our high meat quality, we pay a lot of attention to the welfare of the animal throughout its lifecycle, from breeding to slaughtering. Respect for and proximity to the animals play a significant role, as well as keeping them in a species-appropriate environment.” On our website, customers learn where each piece comes from and which special taste experience it provides. Good taste is the result of raising animals in a healthy and species-appropriate environment. This also includes asking yourself questions such as: “Where does the meat that we buy for a couple of Euros and put on the grill actually come from?”

A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter drives along a pasture with Galloway cattle

The concept: The animal is not collected for slaughtering before all of it has been sold.

Photos: Tim Wendrich

More Links to explore: einstueckland.de – @Facebook@YouTube

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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Furgourmet: The history of a Spanish street food pioneer.

A Mercedes-Benz food truck is parked in a square while lots of people are waiting in line

When Rubén and Esther realize that they are no longer happy with their lives in Brazil, they decide to make a fresh start. They find happiness in their old home country, Spain – with two Mercedes-Benz L 319 and a unique business idea.

An important phone call.

Rubén pushes the heavy glass door open with both hands. While he is standing in front of a huge skyscraper and looking at it, he begins to ponder. The well-known maxim of “the pursuit for happiness”, runs through his mind. With his wife Esther, he once moved from Spain to Brazil because they assumed it was paradise. And he accepted job in a bank that allowed him to do anything he fancied outside the office. But is that really what he and Esther have always wanted? Lost in thought, he enters a taxi and dials a number. “Esther, is it you?”, he asks a little bit later. After less than five minutes, the conversation is finished and one thing has become clear: Together with Esther, he will begin a new life. Ruben takes off his tie and grins. If everything goes well, very soon he will not need it any more.

A man is standing in a van

At first it was not clear to Rubén and Esther what their future life might look like.

The search for happiness.

“At the time it became clear to us that we were lacking something fundamental. Therefore, we wanted to invest our time and energy to start a project of our own, something concrete”, says Rubén. From then on, they used most of their free time to make plans. What might their future life concept look like? How could this project come into being? Time and again, the young couple come across the same idea: How wonderful would it be to return to our homeland, Spain, and take a piece of Brazil with us. “As we loved the Brazilian kitchen even then and had just seen our first food truck, we came to a conclusion”, relates Esther. Their plan is to sell Brazilian food out of a van. And to do it in Spain.

A Mercedes-Benz food truck is parked in a hall

Rubén and Esther became obsessed with the idea of a food truck while they were still in Brazil.

A unique idea.

As passionate, but non-professional chefs, Rubén and Esther then visit some street food fairs. This turns out to be quite a sobering experience: “Our culinary level simply did not suffice to offer the desired service”, explains Rubén. However, after some deliberation, both of them come to the conclusion that this could be the very key to success. “It was our dream to do something special, something unique. We did not see ourselves so much as chefs, but rather as organizers of the project”, says Esther. This gives rise to an unusual idea: The couple wants to launch Spain’s first and only rental service for Brazilian street food trucks. And with this idea in mind, they return to Europe.

A woman is standing in a food truck

Despite the disillusionment they experienced at the street food fairs, Esther does not want to give up on her dream of having her own food truck.

Back in Europe.

Soon after their arrival in Madrid, Rubén and Esther get the ball rolling: From the outset, they narrow their search for suitable vehicles. “We wanted the vans to reflect the uniqueness of our projects also in terms of their visual appearance”, explains Esther. Therefore, the married couple focussed mainly on old vintage trucks. “Suddenly a wonderful Mercedes-Benz L 319 appeared before us. It was so different from everything we had seen so far that we bought it immediately”, enthuses Rubén. One year later, when they came across a second L 319, their great vision suddenly became reality.

Two Mercedes-Benz L 319 are positioned side by side

The two Mercedes-Benz L 319 are Rubén’s and Esther’s pride and joy.

The beginnings.

However, in the beginning the condition of the two vans was not good enough to serve as a fully functional food truck fleet. The age of the vehicles turned their restoration into a real challenge. Therefore, the married couple sought professional assistance. The most difficult part of the conversion was lifting the roof. “We simply had to create more height in the van in order to enable professional cooking”, says Rubén. Some time later, the big moment had finally come: Rubén and Esther called the cherry-red L 319 “Cherry”, the dark brown van “Browny” and their project “Furgourmet”. “Fur” means “van” in Spanish and “gourmet” stands for the gastronomic standard we have, explains Esther proudly. It is the launch of Spain’s first and only rental service for Brazilian street food trucks and Rubén’s and Esther’s happy ending without end.

A brown Mercedes-Benz L 319 on an avenue

Rubén and Esther have given “Browny” a new colour.

A dark red Mercedes-Benz L 319 is parked in front of trees

Rubén and Esther have maintained the original colour of their dark red L 319 named “Cherry”.

The Mercedes-Benz star on a red bonnet

Rubén and Esther are the proud owners of two Mercedes-Benz classicvehicles.

A brown food truck is parked in front of a wall

With their nostalgic appearance, Furgourmet’s food trucks are special, not only in Spain.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Rubén & Esther

More Links to explore: furgourmet.com@Instagram, @Facebook, @Twitter

Vito

The Vito helps you get ahead – both out on the road and in your business. Its cost-effectiveness and quality are as exemplary as its versatility and safety.

Mercedes-Benz Vito
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A forerunner of the Sprinter: the legendary Mercedes-Benz T 1.

A man stands in a hall, there is a white Mercedes-Benz T1 in the background

At the end of the 70s the T 1, a newly developed model, quickly became a bestseller. Countless versions and motorization options permitted a degree of flexibility that continues to have an effect to this day.

The birth of a pioneer.

In January 1967, when Mercedes-Benz introduced the successor of the L 319 with the 309 series (later called T 2), the era of the post-war vans was finished. Bigger and stronger than a delivery van, more manouevrable and lighter than a lorry: The so-called Düsseldorf models filled a gap in the market and from the outset have set the pace in their segment. They were a further development of the large van, but ten years later the spirit of the age showed a tendency towards even more individuality. This was the birth of the T 1 which – with its extended range of possible uses – paved the way for the Mercedes-Benz van of the future.

Three vans standing next to each other in front of garage doors

The models Mercedes-Benz L 319, Mercedes-Benz T 1 and Mercedes-Benz T 2.

The bestseller from Bremen.

The beginning of its career was the year 1977. Due to high demand, large quantities of the T 1 – at the time still called TN (Transporter Neu) – were leaving the production line of the Bremen plant right from the start. In colloquial speech, it was often referred to as the “Bremer” or the “Bremer model”. Up to 1984, the van was manufactured in Bremen, afterwards, until 1995, it was produced in the Düsseldorf plant. In the 18 years of its production, almost one million units were delivered at both locations, which made the T 1 the most successful Mercedes-Benz van until then.

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A master of transformation.

The fact that the T 1 became a real top-seller was not least due to its being offered in countless versions. Whether minibus, crew or panel van, with or without platform: The “Bremer” met widely differing customer needs. The engine performance reflects this kind of flexibility, too. The van is available ex works either with a diesel or a petrol engine. Its capacity extends from a 207 Diesel with 65 PS to a 210 petrol-driven automobile with 105 PS. In line with the original pioneering spirit, from 1978 the T 1 could even be ordered with fully electric drive. The small series is mainly used by key customers, such as Deutsche Bundespost.

A white Mercedes-Benz T1 is parked on a street in an industrial area

The T 1 was also readily and frequently used as a factory vehicle.

A nose shapes the future as a trendsetter.

The design of the T 1 promoted a particular style. At the time, the renowned industrial designer Stefan Heiliger was responsible for the angular lines of the “Bremer”. The T 1 was the first Mercedes-Benz van that he provided with a protruding nose, thus differentiating it from its predecessors in terms of appearance. “The prominent nose came about as a result of design requirements. It was indispensable because the engine was located at the front and required space”, clarifies Stefan Heiliger. This creative revolution met with a strong and positive response which continues to resonate to this day. In 1995, the basic technical concept of the T 1, that had established itself over the years, was finally passed on to the next major flagship of Mercedes-Benz Vans: the Sprinter. And thus, one success story ends with the beginning of a new one.

The task of good design is to address user requirements and to act upon the process of social transformation. These observations must then be translated into products which match/correspond to the production methods of the time.
  • A man stands next to a white Mercedes-Benz T1 in a hall
  • A man traces the body of a white Mercedes-Benz T1 with his hand
  • A man is standing in front of a pinboard and makes drawings
  • Drawings and plans of the Mercedes-Benz T1 on a pinboard

Three questions for designer Stefan Heiliger.

Can the T 1 be described as a pioneer due to its design?

If you wanted to describe the T 1 as a pioneer, then that is correct in the sense that it stood for a new symbolic language which has been preserved until today. In those days people had already realized that this is a language that would still be spoken and understood fifty years later.

What impact did the T 1 have on the design of the Sprinter?

The basic idea of the T 1 – the arrow – is still visible in the Sprinter. At the time, the idea caught on and it still has not lost its impact. It became the characteristic feature of this van class.

Can the T 1 be described as a cornerstone/pillar of the success of Mercedes-Benz Vans?

What may be described as successful is the underlying idea of the symbol design/design of symbols. Obviously, there was an intention behind it and, as said before, it is legible and understandable to this day. And that is probably a criterion for success.

Profile T 1 310 D

Productions period

1988–1995

Predecessor model

Düsseldorfer Transporter (T2)

Successor model

Sprinter

Designs

Panel van, crew van, minibus, flatbed, tip lorry and chassis

Displacement

2,874 cm³

Power

70 kW (95 PS)

Length

5,350 mm

Width

1,980 mm

Height

2,450 mm

Payload

Up to 1.5 t

Gross vehicle weight

3.5 t

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Front and side view of the Mercedes-Benz T1

1977 became a milestone in the success history of Mercedes-Benz: The van T 1 hit the market.

The front of a Mercedes-Benz T1

In terms of appearance, the arrow shape evokes the concept of a light van.

The steering wheel and centre console of the Mercedes-Benz T1

The steering wheel also reflects the arrow shape.

Open side door of the Mercedes-Benz T1

In the stitching, a downward and an upward line come together.

Opened brochures and photos of the Mercedes-Benz T1

Brochures, photos and illustrations about the successfull T 1 series.

Photos: Fabian Freitag, Daimler

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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Rethinking Recycling: Remetal turns the scrap market upside down.

A neon yellow Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at the roadside, viewed from the front

Remetal offers its customers a platform for selling their scrap metal online. Find out how the Sprinter helps them along the way.

The idea of fair scrap metal recycling.

Scrap metal is a drain on households and small businesses. Disposing of it as domestic waste costs money and it takes time to get to the scrap yard. And this is precisely where Remetal comes into play: The start-up, founded in April 2017, is a mobile scrap yard. It collects unused resources in households and businesses and returns them to the raw materials cycle. What is it that distinguishes this approach from the way scrap is normally collected? “We act rapidly, transparently and sustainably in that we collect previously unused raw materials in households and small businesses”, says Lilja, junior project manager at Remetal. The scrap metal is picked up at the doorstep free of charge, it is analysed and evaluated on the spot. The customer is paid for directly and the scrap metal is then delivered to the scrap yard. In other words, you can get rid of your garbage in just a few steps.

A metal container placed on the floor in front of a yellow Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

What many people don’t know: On average, 300 kilograms of reusable metal can be found in private households.

Getting rid of your scrap metal online – here’s how it works.

For the customer, Remetal functions in three simple steps:

Step 1: Send an enquiry.

The customer enters the data on the scrap metal he owns – in case they are known to him – on the Remetal website or their app.

Step 2: Receive an offer.

Within 48 hours, the customer receives an individual offer and a pick-up date that he can then coordinate with the customer service.

Step 3: Pick-up.

Remetal takes care of the free pick-up and the sale of the scrap within the next 48 hours. It is weighed on the spot and the type of metal is determined by means of a state-of-the-art analyser. The customer promptly receives his money. Remetal keeps part of the proceeds for the service provided.

The scrap is transported in three Mercedes-Benz Sprinters whose walls are reinforced with plywood boards. The rails installed in them offer the possibility of attaching lashing straps in order to secure the cargo on board. For the founders, the question as to why the start-up has opted for Mercedes-Benz is easy to answer: “The important thing is that we have reliable vehicles in use. Our Mercedes-Benz Sprinters are robust as well as economical and, furthermore, they can be loaded with up to a ton of weight”, explains Lilja.

  • Two men are loading a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • Two men in front of a neon yellow Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The advantages of an online scrap yard.

The scrap metals are picked up free of charge at people’s doorstep and delivered to the scrap dealer, the customers are paid directly on site. In addition, Remetal is also well conceived when it comes to the details. The organisation of the journeys, for example, is controlled by a special software. The different kinds of metal are separated and weighed on site and then shipped to the scrap dealer. Based on the specified quantities, the vehicles can be coordinated and used optimally. The concept works so well that the current number of three Sprinters will soon be increased. “We want to use our vehicles to full capacity and are planning to have a fleet of ten vehicles by the end of 2019”, Lilja reveals. At present, the start-up is exclusively active in in North Rhine-Westphalia, but in future, it wants to focus on the congested urban areas.

The motivation behind “Rethinking Recycling”.

Remetal’s motto is “Rethinking Recycling”. It holds a clear message that the start-up intends to convey. An average of 300 kilograms of recyclable metal can be found in private households. This includes stainless steel pots, screws and nails or old cables and radiators – most people have no idea that they have such treasures hidden in home. It is not only private households, but also crafts businesses that own recyclable waste in the form of turnings, cables or pipes. At the same time, raw materials are becoming increasingly scarce. Remetal wants to draw people’s attention to the importance of scrap metal resources and to show how easy it is for anyone to act sustainably thanks to Remetal’s service. The team is committed to promoting the intelligent use of raw materials and thus to the extraction of raw materials in the most efficient way possible. “If we combine these huge resources with our ‘urban mining idea’, they do not have to be extracted from the ground or the ore in an extremely energy-intensive process”, explains Lilja.

A man in a black overall picks up a metal can

Remetal wants to draw attention to the importance of scrap metal resources.

A man on the loading platform of an open Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are perfectly suited to Remetal’s requirements: They can be loaded with up to a ton of weight.

Two neon yellow Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with opened rear door

With their neon yellow colour, the Remetal Sprinter can hardly be overlooked.

Photos: Tobias Geiß, Lilja Tilke

More Links to explore: remetal.de@Instagram, @Facebook  

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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Following the tracks of “Casa Nomade” – a house in a Sprinter.

A converted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter parked near a lake in front of a volcano

Thanks to their camper van, Glória and Renato are able to satisfy their longing for new adventures. From Argentina to Alaska, no destination is too far away for them.

The roving reporter and the photographer on four wheels.

Since they got to know each other, Glória Tupinambás and Renato Weil have been travelling across numerous countries on all continents. The couple spent years working for newspapers and magazines and they have always experimented with different travel options: by train, car, motorcycle or on foot. “Gradually, the holidays turned out to be too short to satisfy our passion for travelling”, the Brazilian couple remembers. Something had to change, not only in terms of their travelling activities, but in terms of their entire lives. In order to finance their new life “on the road”, they decided to make travelling their profession. And with Mercedes-Benz as their sponsor, they were able to launch Casa Nomade. This exclusive partnership is meant to prove the ability of the Sprinter to cope with the extreme climatic conditions of Brazil.

A couple is sitting in a salt desert, there is a mountain range in the background

Whether they are in the forest or the desert, the two Brazilians are inseparable.

Two people on ten square metres.

The couple from Brazil left their old lifestyle behind. However, since they cherished the privacy of a home and wanted to carry theirs along, choosing the right vehicle was an extremely important decision for them. “The vehicle is not supposed to carry normal loads, but its function is to be our travelling companion”, says Glória. For their purposes, the economical Sprinter is nearly perfect – not least because of its huge loading capacity. It took five months of hard work in the garage until the conversion of the Sprinter into a mobile home was complete. Obviously, the Brazilian couple feels really comfortable in their new home – the Casa Nomade, as they lovingly call their Sprinter.

A couple is standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

The USA were one of the many destinations of Casa Nomade.

Worthy of the name ‘mobile home’.

In the interior of the Sprinter, you find everything a nomad may desire. A generator provides the Casa Nomade with sufficient electricity for the fridge, the air conditioning system and the washing machine. Cool air, drinks and fresh clothes are a must in the burning heat of South America. Besides, their large gas stove allows them to create culinary master pieces. Below the spacious bed, there is a storage space for a motorcycle which is accessible from the outside and makes it easier for them to explore South America’s overcrowded big cities.

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A fruitful partnership.

Because of their journalistic background, the two were the perfect choice for Mercedes-Benz and thanks to their sponsor they were able to enjoy plenty of adventures already. In order to ensure that the couple will always stay mobile on their journeys, Mercedes-Benz takes care of all maintenance and repair costs in Brazil for the converted Sprinter. And of course, the Brazilians make sure that their Sprinter is checked and maintained on a regular basis. This allows them to enjoy their travels without worries. Those who want to see more can follow the activities of the couple on the Facebook page of Mercedes-Benz Vans Brazil.

A converted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter drives along a road through a desert

Across arid deserts and dense forests with the Sprinter.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Renato Weil, Glória Tupinambás

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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Movemates: the Sprinter as a taxi for objects.

Three men standing in front of a green Sprinter

The best ideas often arise when we are trying to find solutions to our own problems. This is how Movemates was created: a service that helps to move bulky or heavy objects from A to B, and even transport them into your own room.

Euro pallets for a student flat: the birth of Movemates.

Philip, the future founder of Movemates, had the idea of building a bed for his former student apartment in Hamburg out of Euro pallets. “That was incredibly popular in 2017. So I researched online where to buy Euro pallets.” Philip found five pallets out on the edge of Hamburg but then had to transport them to his apartment in the inner city. But that was easier said than done. “A car would have been too small, so I had to find a van somewhere”, remembers Philip. It was a major challenge to find a service that offered to transport bulky goods such as the Euro pallets – quickly and without complications. “In the end I had managed to organise a driver but I still had to carry every single pallet up into the apartment myself. That was how Movemates was born”, he says. He sat down at the table in his apartment with a friend and they began to brainstorm. There had to be a quicker and easier solution for situations like these.

A green Sprinter with a red sticker, seen from above

There are almost no limits when transporting things with Movemates.

A good idea makes life easier for people.

Many people eventually end up in situations similar to that of Philip and his Euro pallets, especially in major cities like Hamburg – whether moving house, buying furniture, at the hardware store or the flea market. The brainstorming session in the apartment kitchen gave rise to the business idea behind Movemates. “Essentially, it functions like Uber except that the driver packs the heavy objects, transports them and also carries them to your home.” How exactly does that work? The start-up links two levels: On the official website, private individuals can use the transport service by providing information with only a few clicks. The other level is an app that independent drivers can download, use to register and offer their service.

The transport market is so unclear and un-transparent, so disorganised and prone to errors. There is immense potential for improving and changing things in this sector. We want to make people’s lives easier.

Transport from A to B with only a few clicks.

The procedure has been successively adapted to match the customers’ requests. “Over the course of the last two years since founding the company, we have learnt a lot thanks to the feedback from many customers. For example, we have implemented the ability to track the drivers in real time via a GPS system and have made the payment options more transparent.” Additionally, the transporters are chosen according to the exact situation and size or the weight of the freight. A computer algorithm automatically searches for the best van with precisely the right size and options from the large selection available. Philip is personally convinced by one vehicle above all: “Mainly Mercedes-Benz Sprinter work for our service. The vehicle is simply the classic and the pioneer in the sector.” The spacious loading area and the large payload of the vans are additional factors making the Sprinter the ideal choice for almost every situation. Movemates is currently active exclusively in Hamburg. But they are looking to expand their horizons. “The app is doing really well because there are no other services like ours in the region. The plan is to expand beyond Hamburg”, says Philip, explaining his wish for the future.

Booking a van from Movemates in five steps:

The steps are intentionally kept simple on the website so that customers can book as quickly as possible.

  1. Enter the delivery or collection address
  2. Specify the number of helpers
  3. Describe the object
  4. Obtain a quote
  5. Pay via direct debit

A laptop with the Movemates website on the screen

Via the official Movemates website, people can organise a van and driver along with up to two helpers with only a few clicks.

Photos: Movemates

More Links to explore: movemates.de@Facebook, @Instagram

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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EinStückLand: Top-quality Galloway meat from northern Germany.

A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is loaded with boxes

Top-quality meat from animals kept appropriate to the needs of the species – this is what the start-up EinStückLand stands for. The concept: The Galloway cattle will not be picked up for slaughtering before all of it has been sold.

A couple poses in front of a house entrance with the inscription “EinStückLand”

Lina and Hinrich – the couple from Hamburg is the driving force behind the start-up EinStückLand.

A piece of the land for everybody.

Lina and Hinrich founded their start-up EinStückLand in early 2017. Their mission: “We have set ourselves the tasks of taking a critical look at meat consumption patterns in Germany, encouraging people to reflect and rethink their opinions and, beyond that, offering an alternative to meat from the supermarket.” Via their online shop, they market high-quality meat from animals which were allowed to live their lives without factory farming. With their start-up they support smaller businesses, such as those of their breeders or local slaughterhouses. “The animals of our farmers grow up slowly. They defy any kind of weather and are fed with completely natural feedstuffs.” Thus, the meat is not artificially inflated with fattening feed. And this is something you can taste. The subsequent “dry aging” gives the meat its finishing touch, so to speak. The fact that this meat is a high-quality food is something customers will realize once the meat is in the frying pan as it does not lose any water during the searing process.

A Galloway-calf is suckled by its mother

EinStückLand stands for species-appropriate cattle breeding.

Premium meat from species-appropriate breeding.

Hinrich’s parents have owned their own Galloways for 32 years now. Therefore, Hinrich has always been close to the action and began to develop a love for the animals. The civil engineer and Lina, a trained nurse, want to offer an alternative to people. “The conditions existing in meat production, people’s buying behaviour and the current status of the farmers should not be accepted without demur.” With their start-up they want to show that things can be done differently. The key is to reduce meat consumption. “Meat should be consumed as a side dish only”, they think. At present, the start-up offers primarily Galloway cattle. “Ultimately, any breed is worth considering. All that needs to be done is to ensure that the animals are kept appropriate to their needs. If this is not the case, we do not offer that particular breed.” It is important to Lina and Hinrich to use the animals to the fullest. They sell edible parts, such as the tongue and the cheeks, in their farm shop “Deine Speisekammer” (your pantry) whereas the intestines are sold to dog owners. In this way, no part of the valuable meat is wasted.

Cattle from the pastures of Schleswig-Holstein.

The consumption of sustainable foodstuffs is a matter of vital concern to the two founders. For Lina and Hinrich, the consumption of meat is among the things that must be changed by all means. “We slaughter once a week and offer two cows for sale. When we are out of stock, the sale will restart the following week.” At the core of EinStückLand’s approach are the boxes with fresh meat. Upon delivery, they rely with their trusted logistics company on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Because: Especially on long distances you need a vehicle you can rely on, they explain. “In order to preserve our high meat quality, we pay a lot of attention to the welfare of the animal throughout its lifecycle, from breeding to slaughtering. Respect for and proximity to the animals play a significant role, as well as keeping them in a species-appropriate environment.” On our website, customers learn where each piece comes from and which special taste experience it provides. Good taste is the result of raising animals in a healthy and species-appropriate environment. This also includes asking yourself questions such as: “Where does the meat that we buy for a couple of Euros and put on the grill actually come from?”

The principle of “cow-sharing”.

In the villages, it used to be very common to distribute a slaughtered animal among all the villagers. Normally, each of them received one eighth of the cow. In other words, the principle of “cow-sharing” or “crowdbutching” has been in existence for decades. However, in keeping with the spirit of the age, the concept has now been given a modern name. EinStückLand relies on this long-proven method. The benefits are clear: Even before being slaughtered, the animal as a whole has been sold. Nothing is thrown away in the end and there is no overproduction.

A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter drives along a pasture with Galloway cattle

The concept: The animal is not collected for slaughtering before all of it has been sold.

A business model based on fair intentions.

The two founders first came up with the idea for their start-up at Christmas 2016. “My father asked us if we wanted to market Galloway cattle in Hamburg. His herd was becoming too big and there were not enough buyers”, Hinrich reports. That gave them food for thought. Both of them quickly realized: They did not want to devote all that effort to a one-off campaign. Therefore, they spontaneously asked other breeders if they had marketing problems as well. Their model for success? According to Lina and Hinrich, proper planning and motivation are the most important things when it comes to founding a company. “It was not our principal objective to become rich. This also means that you do not rip off your business partners or keep pressing them for the lowest prices.” The farmer and the butchers involved receive the most money from all the companies in the chain, followed by the founders themselves and their logistics specialist. “That was important to us from the outset.”

You have to stand fully behind your own idea and build up your business with a certain idealism.
A woman with a package is running towards a delivery van

More than just organic: For the start-up company, good taste begins by raising animals which are healthy and grow up in a species-appropriate environment.

This is how the foundation a success.

Lina’s and Hinrich’s best tips for the successful foundation of a company:

  1. Believe in your idea and be totally motivated.
  2. Always keep on track even though, at least initially, everybody seems to know better.
  3. Invest enough money and establish a limited liability company, for example.
  4. Bring a legal counsel on board and clarify from the start how to protect your interests adequately.
  5. Stick together when founding a company with one or more partners. Money isn’t everything!

  • A man packs glasses into a cardboard box
  • A box filled with packaged meat and lined with straw insulation
  • A box with a label from EinStückLand is marked with a stamp
  • A man hands a parcel with the inscription “EinStückLand” to a parcel delivery man

Completely sustainable: the shipping process.

Lina and Hinrich receive the eartag as well as information on the age, gender and pedigree of the animal from the farmer. Once the cattle has been marketed, it is taken to the butcher. It requires time to do a thing well: It takes at least two-and-a-half weeks until the meat is well hung. Then, the couple picks up the meat from the butcher and packs it. When it comes to the shipping carton, they also take care to live up to their sustainable philosophy. It consists of a straw insulation and cold packs filled with water. The meat packages are distributed throughout Germany via express delivery by their logistics partner with a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. In this way, the vacuumed meat arrives in a cooled state. The customers can freeze the meat straight away so that it will last him for several weeks. “Our customers mostly come from households with two to five people and include all age groups.

A Sprinter drives along a avenue

EinStückLand cooperates with a logistics partner who distributes the meat packages overnight.

A man runs towards a parking van

When the meat is processed, the boxes are delivered well-cooled to the customer’s home.

Every beginning is hard, especially when you are a founder.

A lot of hard work was involved in what seemed well-designed from start to finish and sounded like a perfect business idea. One obstacle was the foundation of a GmbH (limited liability corporation) and the process of finding a name. Even worse: In the beginning, Lina and Hinrich were unable to find a butcher with whom they wanted to cooperate. “This could have resulted in the failure of the entire project.”

And what are the everyday challenges of a start-up? “You are always faced with new situations. Initially, there is neither regularity nor an established routine. This means you always have to be on your toes and mustn’t allow yourself to get stressed out. Besides, you have to be immune to the fact that for a while everybody will identify you exclusively with your start-up.”

Looking into the future with a clear conscience.

Lina and Hinrich want to provide fresh ideas for the industry. “We want to reach all those who are tired of buying cheap meat and supporting giveaway prices.” They have committed themselves to fostering animal welfare. “The aim should be to establish more small-sized businesses rather than a few large ones.” It is planned to expand the product range: Soon there will be pork and poultry and the farm shop is due to be further expanded. Later, the product range on the internet will be widened and there is also supposed to be an online farm shop. Besides, EinStückLand will expand its business into different cities in Germany.

Pre-packed meat is put into boxes filled with straw

The boxes with fresh meat are at the core of the EinStückLand concept.

Sustainable, regional and fair: With their start-up, Lina and Hinrich want to create an alternative to meat from the discount store.

Two glasses of beef stock with a label from EinStückLand

Whatever is not sold in the boxes with fresh meat, the customers will find in “Deine Speisekammer” – the (online) farm shop.

An oblong cardboard box that says “Guten Appetit! (Enjoy your meal)”

In the farm shop, the same principle applies: Respect for living creatures and the sustainable use of resources have priority.

A couple is standing behind a shop counter

Lina and Hinrich know what good meat looks and tastes like.

Photos: Tim Wendrich

More Links to explore: einstueckland.de – @Facebook@YouTube

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Slider images