Here's how the Mercedes Sprinter 'sprinted' ahead of the UK auto-industry
With Coronavirus taking a huge toll on businesses across the world, one sector boomed overnight - logistics (and commercial vehicles)!
The Mercedes Sprinter has been the 'preferred choice' of van that many have invested in for more years than I can count. Many major companies rely on them in their fleets, as do smaller independents and rental fleets. Driving one last year I quickly saw the appeal, seeing as they're absolutely chocked full of technology as standard. The driving characteristics are almost 'car-like' and whilst they may initially cost slightly more than competitor vehicles, they quickly become cost effective in servicing, residual value and cost-per-mile.
It's a historic moment...
Historically, the last time a commercial vehicle was top of the 'overall sale leaderboard' in the UK was in 1990. Since then, whilst commercials have surged in sales throughout manufacturers, a van hasn't really come close to the top. In April 2020, Mercedes saw 814 Sprinters registered on the road which was quite literally double that of the nearest 'top selling' van. Note this: Tesla sold 658 Model 3s, Jaguar sold 367 i-Paces and Vauxhall sold 264 Corsas in the same time period. The Sprinter was considerably in the lead then!
Logistics is big business at the moment, with more people than ever becoming couriers, delivery drivers etc. When you look at some of the biggest companies in the UK for home deliveries such as Asda, Tesco, Waitrose, Argos, Iceland etc - you'll notice they all have a considerable volume of Sprinters. With our increased pressure on home deliveries, it makes sense that companies needed to quickly expand their fleets.
Amazon also tend to advise the LWB Sprinter to their new self-employed drivers - I can see why though. Good load capability, good looks, great economy, brilliant reliability.
It's also the vehicle of our saviours!
With everyone being told to stay indoors and keep everyone safe, van drivers are putting themselves at risk and delivering goods to your door - they're our saviours. With fantastic driver amenities as standard and an easy drive, it's simple to see why so many have chosen the Sprinter to deliver to you. From your online shopping, last minute luxuries or urgent prescriptions, the Sprinter has shown it can do it all - which might help with those sales.
As someone who has been moving shopping, prescriptions, food parcels, NHS equipment (and a lot more) in an X350d since the lockdown began - I've had an insight into the life of a van driver. Long hours, lots of driving and a it's a really stressful job at times. Having a great van to drive which has everything at your fingertips which doesn't drink tonnes of fuel, it's essential.