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Crown adds a stroke of genius with first Mercedes-Benz vans

Crown adds a stroke of genius with first Mercedes-Benz vans

One of the biggest names in the decorating industry has given its merchandising team a professional makeover, by setting them on the road in its first Mercedes-Benz vans.

Crown commissioned the 15 Citans after Daimler Fleet Management (DFM) undertook a thorough and wide-ranging analysis of its requirements.   DFM fleet sales manager Scott Chambers presented a whole life cost case for the Mercedes-Benz product, which was then corroborated by the week-long trials of two demonstration vehicles he arranged for Crown, which operates from headquarters in Lancashire, a manufacturing facility in Hull, and a growing network of 130 Crown Decorating Centres located throughout the UK and Ireland.  

Its new vans are all long-bodied 109 CDI versions of the Citan. Supplied by North-East Dealer Bell Truck and Van, they are the subject of a contract hire agreement with DFM, a business unit of Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler AG.  

DFM has been working with Crown for the last eight years and in 2016 was awarded sole responsibility for funding and managing its fleet of 170 cars - most of which are by Mercedes-Benz - as well as its 130 vans.  

The package put together by DFM and the enthusiastic feedback on the demonstration models from its merchandisers were both key to Crown’s decision to switch from its previous brand of small van to the Mercedes-Benz Citan.  

Crown commercial buyer Susan Fielding said: “We had looked at Mercedes-Benz vans in the past but discounted them as too expensive. Not this time, though. The focus for our latest tender was on a combination of lease and running costs, and reliability - our agreement with DFM is highly competitive and represents excellent value for money.”  

The new vans, which will be driven by Crown’s field-based merchandising team - a highly visible ‘face of the business’ - are contracted to cover an average of 80,000 miles each over the next three years.  

DFM has also undertaken to supply a replacement vehicle in the event one of Crown’s own suffers a breakdown and is not back on the road within the agreed timeframe.

  “Given the Mercedes-Benz brand’s reputation for reliability we’d hope not to invoke this provision, but it’s reassuring to know it’s there, just in case,” added Ms Fielding.