Independent retailer Leekes has put 26 new Mercedes Sprinters into operations at its department stores and building centres in South Wales and the West Midlands.
The firm has a long history of running Mercedes vans and trucks, but some of the new Sprinters replace vans of another brand, which failed to hold their value as well, according to company director Stuart Leeke, who said:
Our experience of disposing of these vehicles confirmed that the Sprinter continues to command high residual values compared to other types of van.
The new vans are liveried in black and are all Sprinter 313 CDI models in BlueEFFICIENCY specification, which includes the ECO-Start start-stop system, as well as other fuel saving measures such as low rolling resistance tyres and efficiency improvements to items like the power steering system, fuel pump and battery management.
A variety of body types are used by Leekes, including long-bodied panel vans fitted with frails for use by the firm’s double-glazing fitters, along with dropsides for conservatory teams and an extra-long wheelbase van used to deliver furniture. The additions take Leekes’ fleet to 70 vans, most of them Sprinters, and the firm also uses Merc’s Atego light truck for most of its haulage requirements.
Leekes’ relationship with Mercedes is now 16 years old, and unsurprisingly, Mr Leeke remains a fan of both the technical and reputational benefits that come with operating Sprinters:
“Mercedes-Benz is a premium brand with an image of quality that can only enhance our own reputation,” said Director and Company Secretary Stuart Leeke. “We bought our first Sprinters in 1998, since when they have always proved outstandingly reliable, cost-effective to operate and popular with our drivers. Safety is of paramount importance to our company, so the fact that Mercedes-Benz leads the field in this respect is also key to its appeal.”
It’s not a new story, but how many other marques have this effect on their customers?