For the first time, Toll New Zealand is distributing freight with Mercedes-Benz vans.
Contractors working for Toll and based in Auckland have recently purchased three Sprinter vans.
“The Toll fleet, as far as vans go, has been pretty much a single brand up until now in New Zealand so this is a major achievement,” said David Didsbury, Mercedes-Benz’ National Fleet Sales Manager.
“We just had to get people thinking about a different – a better – option.”
To make that happen Vijay Chhagn from Trucks and Trailers, the Mercedes-Benz dealership, put together a special strategy to communicate the many benefits of the Sprinter to the contractors… coffee mornings.
“We had to hold them fairly early in the morning before the contractors started work, and then if they wanted more information or a test drive we were happy to do that over the weekend or whenever they had time,” Vijay said.
While employees drive what they are given, contractors get to pick the van they are going to spend all day in so they tend to be very interested in Mercedes-Benz specialities like safety and comfort.
“Absolutely, these guys want to get home feeling good at the end of the day,” Vijay said.
“Reliability, comfort and safety are very important. But they are also running a business, so we also talked a lot about whole-of-life costs with the Sprinter.
“They are fuel efficient, have long service intervals and minimum down time,” he said.
“You can buy a van that’s cheaper up front, but you have to look at the money it will cost you to keep it on the road.”
Another benefit of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the huge range of variants which are available.
Because of their need for maximum carrying space, the Toll contractors have all opted for long wheel base models with mid-to-high roofs and twin doors for easy access.
“The Sprinter is a great van so I have no doubt that word-of-mouth is going to start working for us, as the contractors talk to each other about their vans,” Vijay said.