Growth in the vans sector: New Mercedes-Benz Citan celebrates its world premiere
Stuttgart/Amsterdam
Apr 16, 2012
  • The Citan rounds out the Mercedes-Benz van family and will be launched with a comprehensive model range
  • Citan aims to capture a 4 to 5 percent market share of the small van segment
  • Van sales to rise to over 400,000 units by 2015
In the run-up to the RAI commercial vehicles show in Amsterdam, Mercedes-Benz is celebrating the world premiere of its new Citan delivery van. Following the Sprinter and the Vito, the Citan is now the latest addition to the brand’s van family and also the first vehicle to be created as a result of the strategic partnership between Daimler and Renault-Nissan. The Mercedes-Benz Citan will celebrate its public debut at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover in September. The market launch is scheduled to take place this fall.
Mercedes-Benz is already the market leader for large and mid-sized vans. In Western Europe the brand increased its market share to 18 percent in 2011. Market share rose in the U.S. from 4.9 to 7.2 percent and currently amounts to six percent in China. According to Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, 2011 was the most successful year in the division’s history. “We sold over 264,000 vehicles last year, or 18 percent more than in 2010. We even boosted profits by 85 percent, achieving a new record of €835 million,” he says. Mornhinweg adds that the return on sales also reached an all-time high: “It amounted to 9.1 percent in 2011, enabling us to not only reach our target for 2013 but to exceed it”
The Citan has significant growth potential in established markets
Mercedes-Benz Vans is introducing the Citan this year in order to expand its vehicle lineup into the small vans segment, whose market volume has grown exponentially in Europe in recent years to 700,000 units. Mornhinweg is convinced that the Citan will capture a market share of 4 to 5 percent. In addition to penetrating new fast-growing markets, Mercedes-Benz Vans is also pursuing another strategic goal: the exploitation of growth potential in traditional markets. “We aim to sell more than 400.000 units worldwide by 2015,” says Mornhinweg.
Mercedes-Benz’ new Citan has been rigorously developed to meet the needs of commercial customers in the small vans segment, and it has all the attributes that have traditionally been the strengths of the brand with the star. According to Mornhinweg, these attributes include top product quality. “Like the Sprinter and the Vito, the Citan had to demonstrate its worth in ice and snow as well as dust and heat while completing many thousands of kilometers of tests. But our high quality standards do not end with the conclusion of the vehicle’s development. We’ve done all we can to ensure that the Citan embodies the kind of quality that will impress customers who use the van on a daily basis.”
Citan is launched with a comprehensive model range for ensuring safe and comfortable road performance
The developers of the Mercedes-Benz Citan made very sure that the vehicle delivers the brand’s hallmark road performance in the areas of handling, agility, and ride comfort. The direct-response steering system is very precise and sensitive, resulting in a safe, precise, and comfortable road performance. It is also equipped with the Electronic Stability Program ADAPTIVE ESP® as standard equipment.
The Mercedes-Benz Citan’s broad model range has been customized to meet the requirements of a city delivery vehicle. The basic version is the panel van, which is available in three lengths: 3.94 meters, 4.32 meters, and 4.71 meters. Another model is the versatile Citan Mixto with five seats, which is based on the extra-long version (4.71 m) and has a foldable rear bench seat and two sliding doors. The third basic model is the Citan crewbus, which is mounted on the long wheelbase (4.32 m) and can also be delivered as a five-seater with a foldable rear bench seat and sliding door (optionally available with sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle). Depending on the model in question, the vehicle is available in three weight variants with a GVW up to 2,200 kilograms.
The Citan also features a wide selection of fuel-efficient engine variants. Customer requirements are fully covered by three high-torque turbo-diesel direct injection engines, ranging from 55 kW (75 hp) to 81 kW (110 hp), as well as a lively supercharged gasoline engine with 84 kW (114 hp). All of the diesel engines offered for this van are equipped with a particulate filter as standard equipment. Power is transmitted to the front wheels by five- and six-speed transmissions with an easily reachable joystick selection lever in the center console.
A BlueEFFICIENCY package is available as standard equipment for the gasoline-powered Citan and as optional equipment for the diesel variants. This package includes the ECO start/stop function, a battery and generator management system, and variant-dependent low rolling-resistance tires, which help to reduce fuel consumption even further.
The Citan boasts a striking appearance - inside and out
The new Mercedes-Benz Citan has an unmistakable, brand-specific look. The basic features of the van’s characteristic appearance are the chromed star in the prominent and rugged-looking radiator grille with its three sporty perforated slats. Just as remarkable are the Citan’s striking headlights and the wedge-shaped hood with its clearly defined edges.
The interior is similarly unmistakable, featuring many high-quality appointments. The driver and front passenger sit on firm yet comfortably upholstered seats. The curve-hugging shape of the backrest in particular provides good side support, thus enhancing comfort and safety. The ergonomic, driver-focused instrument panel with its leather-like grained surface has a look and feel that are immediately familiar and reflect the high quality of the vehicle’s interior.
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