The latest Mercedes-Benz urban delivery van was previewed today and has been dubbed the Citan. The Citan name was revealed at the Mercedes-Benz Design Center in Sindelfingen during a symposium on brand competence and city logistics. The name Citan is a combination of the words “city” and “titan,” thus making it clear that the vehicle is a first-rate specialist for city logistics — one that was specifically developed to meet the tough challenges faced in day-to-day operations.
New van series to boost sales
With the introduction of the new urban delivery vehicle, Mercedes-Benz is adding another production series to its family of vans. The Citan is supplementing the Vario (6.0 to 8.2 tons), Sprinter (3.0 to 5.0 tons), and Vito (2.77 to 3.2 tons) to broaden the range of products in the lower weight classes of the van market, where it will significantly boost sales.
Whereas the small vans segment was still a niche market in the mid-1990s, it has now grown to around 700,000 units in Europe. Mercedes-Benz Vans plans to gain a market share of four to five percent in this segment. Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, is convinced that the Citan will be a big success. “We will take advantage of the trend toward city vans, which our brand will be able to exploit thanks to its attractively priced vehicles and the high quality of our products and services,” says Mornhinweg. “Our typical Mercedes-Benz reliability, 24/7 service, and, last but not least, our great brand image are key selling points as far as our commercial customers are concerned.”
Due to its large number of variants, the new urban delivery van with the star is suited for a broad range of commercial applications. Not only will the Citan be offered as a panel van, a crewbus, and a mixed-use vehicle; it will also be available in a variety of lengths and weights.
The Citan will be launched on the market in fall 2012. The vehicle will be unveiled to the general public for the first time at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover in September.
The Citan — the ideal partner in city traffic
The Citan was developed and tested in line with Mercedes-Benz’ demanding quality standards. The vehicle is correspondingly durable and robust. At the same time, it meets the requirements of customers from the service, sales, and trade sectors, offering them a large cargo space despite the vehicle’s compact dimensions. In addition, the van boasts attributes typical of the brand, such as great quality, economy, safety, excellent handling, as well as high fuel efficiency and correspondingly low CO2 emissions. The drive concept encompasses a broad range of low-emission, fuel-efficient diesel and gasoline engines and includes a BlueEFFICIENCY package. An electric drive version is also being planned.
The Citan’s operation, interior, materials, and workmanship are of the same high quality as in other Mercedes-Benz vans. The new urban delivery van can therefore be justly called the “little brother” of the Sprinter and Vito, to which it is in no way inferior. As is the case with every Mercedes-Benz vehicle, safety plays a big role in the new van, all variants of which come with ESP as standard.
New markets for Mercedes-Benz vans
Mercedes-Benz has greatly expanded its vans business in recent years. In line with the slogan of “Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global,” the brand is not only manufacturing vans in Düsseldorf (Sprinters), Ludwigsfelde (Sprinters and Varios), and Vitoria, Spain (Vitos), but also in the U.S., Argentina, and China.
It is also planning to strengthen its presence in the Russian market through a partnership with GAZ, the leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles in Russia. Over the medium-term, the GAZ factory near Nizhny Novgorod will produce 25,000 Sprinters each year, and do so strictly according to Mercedes-Benz’ quality standards.
Mercedes-Benz already is the undisputed market leader for mid-size and large vans in Western Europe.