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Simon Neil is the sales director in Mercedes’ newly formed Vans division

I WAS thinking of saying I popped up to Mercedes’ Milton Keynes HQ the Thursday before the Easter break, but that was hardly the case.

I battled the Easter exodus traffic shall we say…

Anyway, the point of the journey was to meet Simon Neil, who is the sales director for Mercedes-Benz Vans in the newly formed Vans division.

Last year Mercedes established autonomous businesses – so there’s an MD for cars, for trucks and for vans (Steve Bridge). The idea is to give each division more responsibility and more focus – see our news story Mercedes appoints Steve Bridge as new managing director of vans division.

Which always sounds fine in theory but what about practice?

“It allows us to have a entire customer journey under one roof. For a customer, in terms of decision making and focus what we now have is the opportunity to dedicate time to the end user. That wasn’t always happening before,” explained Simon.

“With dedication you get a clear idea of what customer wants and we can provide a proposition that’s fit for purpose.”

Which already sounds like a better deal – more consultative than just ‘sell ‘em a van’. So chances are you should get a van that suits your business, not just a van the salesman wants to sell you.

What’s more, Mercedes vans has its three pointed star fixed on three distinct van user groups – which is excellent news for tradespeople and SME van fleets wanting a Merc van.

“What we have with the new Van division is a focus on specific needs of sections of clients,” continued Simon, who broke them down as follows:

  • Retail (tradespeople wanting one or two vans);
  • SME (van fleet operators and small van fleets);
  • Strategic accounts/national fleet (larger corporate and fleet business).

“Prior to the dedicated van team we had two teams and the SME focus swung between both teams  – which meant we serviced the sector unsatisfactorily. That’s no longer the case.

“Within SMEs there’s a whole raft of disciplines – so we’re focusing on utilities, service engineers, facilities management, food distribution and construction. That’s not to say were ignoring groups outside those – but it’s our primary area of focus.”

Customers can expect far more focus on what their business needs, rather than on which van the salesperson wants to sell



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