A jury of experienced master tradesmen have given a double victory to the
Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter in the 2004/2005 Commercial Vehicle Awards.
An award ceremony to acknowledge the victors will be held at September’s
International Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany.
The 19 tradesman voted the Mercedes-Benz Vito the winner in the van class up
to 3 tonnes gross vehicle weight and the Sprinter in the class up to 3.5 tonnes.
During a busy test weekend, tradesmen who had applied to join the 2004/2005
Commercial Vehicle Awards jury as readers of the tradesmen's publications
"Handwerkmagazin" and "Deutsche Handwerks Zeitung" by Holzmann, tested a total
of 20 vehicles. These were ten vans with a gross vehicle weight of 3 tonnes and
ten with a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes.
As in previous tests, the first day was devoted to a stationary assessment,
and specifically the driver’s cab and load compartment. The aspects assessed
included the entry, user-friendliness and stowage facilities, as well as the
payload, trailer load and cargo capacity. Both vans came away with a victory in
these respects, with the Vito's cab scoring particularly well in the criteria of
quality and finish, driver’s seat and instruments/controls. With respect to the
load compartment, it also scored well for load securing features and – once
again – for quality and finish.
A practical test drive was scheduled for the next day. Each tester covered a
fixed route with each vehicle, subsequently assessing the engine performance,
handling, safety aspects, ease of maintenance and price/benefit ratio of each.
Here the Vito achieved high scores in handling safety/cornering/directional
stability, safety features and quality/finish. The strengths of the Sprinter
were similarly appreciated, and earned particular praise in the categories of
safety features, finish, quality and handling safety, but also for its service
and oil-change intervals.
“The Sprinter and Vito are tried and tested by customers every day on
Australian roads, so it’s no surprise that when master tradesmen put the
vehicles through their paces and compare them to the competition, the Sprinter
and Vito come out ahead,” said Campbell York, the head of the Mercedes-Benz
light commercial vehicle team at DaimlerChrysler Australia/Pacific.
New Mercedes-Benz Vito wins at the first attempt
The new Vito took part in this award contest for the first time, and won at
the first attempt. Its strength is its great versatility. Since the new Vito was
introduced in April 2004, the Mercedes-Benz Vito has firmly established itself
in the Australian van market.
The class leading Mercedes-Benz Vito both posted impressive sales gains last
month with 170 units delivered in Australia, an improvement of 30 per cent
compared to the previous year. It achieved its best sales last month since
release, representing 146 units of the total 170 Vito sales. Since introduction,
sales of the new Vito have lived up to the market positioning “nothing fits your
business better”, with 446 units delivered nationally in less than four months.
The German Commercial Vehicle Awards are organised by the Holzmann publishing
house - under the aegis of the Federal Minister of Transport - every two years
to coincide with the International Commercial Vehicle Fair (IAA) in Hanover.
This year they will be presented at the fair on September 24 by Prof. Bernd
Gottschalk, President of the VDA (Association of German Automobile