Mercedes-Benz is set to pull the wraps from a new small delivery van at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover (Germany) next September. With the introduction of the new Citan, the company is effectively adding the missing piece to complete its broad range of delivery vans.
As the smallest member of the family, Citan will fill the gap below Vito which sells in the 2.77 to 3.2 tonne gross vehicle mass (GVM) segment. Above this is Sprinter (3.0 to 5.0 tonne GVM) and the big daddy of ‘em all, Vario, in the 6.0 to 8.2 tonne GVM class.
According to a Mercedes-Benz press release, with the development of Citan the company has sought to broaden its range of products in the lowest weight class of the van market where it sees significant potential to boost sales. Whereas the small van segment was still a niche market in the mid-‘90s, there are now around 700,000 units sold annually in Europe alone, the company states.
Mercedes-Benz Vans expects to gain a market share of four to five percent in this segment and Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, is convinced the Citan will be a big success.
“We will take advantage of the trend toward city vans, which we will be able to exploit thanks to the Citan’s attractive pricing and the high quality of our products and after sales services,” Mornhinweg said. “Our typical Mercedes-Benz reliability, 24/7 service, and great brand image are key selling points appreciated by our commercial customers.”
Due to a large number of variants, the new ‘star’ in the urban delivery van scene is said to be suited to a broad range of commercial applications. Not only will the Citan be offered as a panel van, a crewbus and a mixed-use vehicle, it will also be available in a variety of lengths and weights.
The driveline concept encompasses a broad range of low-emission, fuel-efficient diesel and petrol engines and includes a BlueEFFICIENCY package which incorporates various measures to optimise fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions. In addition, an electric drive version is also said to be under development.
As is the case with every Mercedes-Benz vehicle, safety plays a big role in the new Citan van, with all variants fitted with ESP (electronic stability program) as standard.