A year after its launch, the Mercedes-Benz Citan has established itself well in a difficult market environment. Working together with renowned body manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz offers a variety of tested solutions for retail, trades and authorities with the “VanPartner by Mercedes-Benz” certificate – also for the Citan. In Frankfurt, journalists from all over the world now had the opportunity to experience these, in some cases, highly specialized body solutions. 15 examples from five countries provided a selection of the numerous options which go far beyond merely transporting people and materials.
Bodies and fittings have a long tradition among Mercedes-Benz vans. Body manufacturers handle all of those special requirements which exceed the factory-made variants. These range from workshop vehicles to police vehicles. That is why roughly 50% of all newly registered Sprinters in Europe are equipped with a body or fittings from specialized manufacturers. Approximately 25% of all Vitos are converted and the Citan has now reached 16%. At the body manufacturing centers in Stuttgart, Ludwigsfelde and Charleston, approximately 40 employees focus exclusively on van bodies and fittings. A fourth location will be set up in Brazil in 2014. Over the middle term Mercedes-Benz will also increase its activities in the Russian and Chinese markets.
Today, specialized body manufacturer managers are already in charge of the customers in the individual markets.
These experts provide technical advice to the body and fitting manufacturers for new models. In addition, they support them with individual purchasing advice. The specialists also examine all of the conversions and issue the approval of the ABH Manufacturer Center. The converted vans may only bear the Mercedes star once they have fulfilled all of the requirements. Buyers can thoroughly customize their Citan also in the factory itself thanks to an extensive list of extras. The Construction site package, for example, includes increased ground clearance, steel and plastic underbody protection along with reinforced tires.
Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz also offers tested original accessories for the Citan via its branches and sales partners. One of these was demonstrated on a panel van. It has a fixed towing hitch at the rear, roof bars with two transverse elements and a ladder holder. The new member of the Citan family is a highly flexible estate vehicle with up to 7 seats. It is based on the extra-long design with a 2.2 t gross vehicle weight. This now makes the Citan the ideal vehicle for private personal transport via taxi or for industrial personal transport.