Service Technicians at IPCO UK were disappointed when its previous owner insisted they switch from Mercedes-Benz Vito vans to vehicles by another manufacturer. Following its acquisition by a new parent company, however, they seized the first opportunity to return to the three-pointed star.
The three engineers are even happier because having driven standard Vito panel vans before, this time Dealer Rygor Commercials has provided them with dynamic Vito Sport crew versions.
IPCO UK is based in Kingswinford, West Midlands. Now owned by FAM AB, part of the Swedish-owned Wallenberg Group, it specialises in the supply and maintenance of steel conveyor belts and associated plant and equipment used in food, chemical, and other manufacturing production processes.
Managing Director Neil Flavell recalled: “When the contracts on their last vehicles came to an end the lads were given the freedom, subject to financial considerations, to choose their own vans again.
“They were very keen to get out of the vehicles they’d been driving and get back to Mercedes-Benz. The brief was simply to match what we were paying to lease their previous vans. Rygor came up with a package which not only keeps the cost within our budget, but also represents a real step forward in terms of vehicle specification.
“The Vito Sports look fantastic and all three technicians are really pleased with them. In terms of comfort and all-round quality, they’re a world apart from our last vans.”
IPCO UK’s latest Long-bodied 116 CDI models ride on five-spoke alloy wheels and are stylishly finished with colour-coded bumpers, chrome grille trims and sidebars, and privacy glass. As crew vans they also came with second rows of seats, so each can carry up to four passengers while retaining a useful 3.6m3 of cargo space.
Their advanced 2.1-litre twin-turbo diesel engines drive the rear wheels – other Vito variants employ front-wheel drive. A spirited 163 hp and 380 Nm of torque combines with an impressive economy figure of 44.1 mpg (combined cycle), while their market-leading armoury of standard-fit Mercedes-Benz safety technology includes Adaptive ESP®, ATTENTION ASSIST, Crosswind Assist, and driver and passenger airbags.
IPCO UK’s Service Technicians are now using their Vito Sports to visit production facilities and other customer premises nationwide. The vans carry all of the tools and equipment they need to do the job, including welding gear, grinders and polishers.
“We’d each had two sets of Vito vans previously, and were extremely pleased with them,” said Service Technician Andrew Cartwright. “They were a very nice drive, handled really well fully laden or empty, and the load doors on both sides were very useful.
“Then, out of the blue, we were told we’d have to move to another make of van. This was very frustrating, because that vehicle was inferior in just about every respect. I wasn’t confident in its roadholding at any speed, while the position of the pedals and the lack of adjustment in the seat meant I could never get comfortable.”
He continued: “I’m an engineer, not a mechanic, but having run a series of Mercedes-Benz cars I know they’re in a different class. I’m really pleased to be back in a Vito, and the same goes for my colleagues too.
“Our new vans are brilliant. They’re very smart in appearance while the latest cab is ergonomically designed and beautifully finished. More importantly, though, the Vito’s steering geometry and suspension makes for a much more stable ride. In fact, it’s an altogether more enjoyable and comfortable driving experience.”
The subject of a Mercedes-Benz Finance contract hire agreement, the new vans will be maintained by the workshop team at Rygor Commercials’ Kidderminster branch. Sales Executive Mike Burns arranged for the operator to trial a Vito Sport demonstration unit over several days, before he secured the order.
“Our commitment to Setting Standards means we can tailor a package to suit virtually any budget,” he said. “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to make ‘the numbers add up’ and that IPCO UK’s Service Technicians are now back to where they wanted to be – behind the wheels of Mercedes-Benz Vito vans.”