Van conversions backed up with after-sales and warranty
The Mercedes-Benz VanPartner assessment process which began in Germany in 2008 has been introduced to the MENA region.
UAE-based Bristol Fire Engineering Industries L.L.C became the first recognized Mercedes-Benz VanPartner in the MENA region, in January 2020. The VanPartner status was awarded to Bristol after successful completion of an extensive review process of conversion solutions made on a Mercedes-Benz Van. The Mercedes-Benz VanPartner certification programme ensures Bristol provides a best-in-class product for its ambulances in terms of build-quality and safety.
Bodybuilders and conversion companies benefit from the Mercedes-Benz VanPartner certification in two ways: Mercedes-Benz Vans recommends them to its customers, and they are permitted to advertise their respective solutions internationally using the title "VanPartner by Mercedes-Benz", also employing the wordmark and numerous advertising and presentation media provided by Mercedes-Benz.
Bristol uses Mercedes-Benz Vans as a base for many of their conversation applications including ambulances, outside broadcasting vans and mobile service vans.
Thomas Greipel, general manager of Mercedes-Benz Vans Middle East and North Africa (MENA), says: “In January of this year, we announced Bristol Fire Engineering Industries as the MENA region’s first certified VanPartner. The aim of our VanPartner certification is to provide customers with quality conversions, suitable for the region and backed up with after-sales and warranty. Recently, we have seen an increase in demand from customers who require custom converted solutions for their trade or service. We are committed to the expansion of the number of VanPartners in the region over the coming year. This will allow us to offer solutions to customers that meet Mercedes-Benz standards of quality, robustness and safety.”
The VanPartner certification is preceded by a qualification process: the bodybuilder centre checks and assesses both the quality of the bodybuilder company and its sales and service operations. All body and conversion solutions are produced under the body/equipment mounting directives or come with a certificate of endorsement.
Qualification as a VanPartner by Mercedes-Benz means a company has achieved a special status: Mercedes-Benz Vans recommends these partners to customers by way of a dual invoice transaction. Dual invoice means that the Mercedes-Benz van and its body or conversion solution are ordered and invoiced separately. With regard to service, guarantee and warranty, each manufacturer is responsible for their respective scope of delivery.
Globally, the Mercedes-Benz Conversion World platform serves as a portal to offer an overview of product solutions from partner companies. The platform enables customers to directly contact to the individual suppliers, to build their special purpose vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz Van body conversions popular in the Middle East
Mercedes-Benz Vans MENA, in conjunction with VanPartners in other markets, offers customized solutions including a ‘Shuttle’ variant for the region. The Sprinter ‘Shuttle’ lineup comes in three seating configurations from 15 to 22 seats plus the driver.
In this segment of operations, the Sprinter ‘Shuttle’ lineup excels in terms of build quality, comfort and ultimate safety. From the three-point seatbelts to the ergonomic design of the seats and the standard high-performance air conditioning system, the Sprinter Shuttle lineup provides solutions for high-end professional passenger transport.
Mobile workshop vehicles
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito provide a shell for customers to create vehicles that are fit for them. A popular application for these vans is mobile workshop vehicles kitted out with shelving, power supply, equipment and tools and fully equipped to perform numerous maintenance and repair procedures.
With a huge internal space, the Mercedes-Benz Vito and V-Class are popular for wheelchair transport conversions. Flat-level floor conversions create generous headspace and visibility and depending on the conversion, provides up to 6 seats for whole families to travel together.
Many of the features of the Mercedes-Benz Vans range directly benefit the end users of such conversions, such as the high-performance air conditioning which is ideal for the hot climates in the region and increased service intervals of up to 20,000km for diesel engines to minimize vehicle downtime.
The online bodybuilder platform has been maintained throughout the Covid-19 crisis, servicing as a central point of contact for all VanPartners. The platform is constantly updated, to ensure that VanPartners are aware of the correct point of contact should they need support from Mercedes-Benz.
“Mercedes-Benz Vans MENA has been working closely with its network of general distributors across the region to ensure that, collectively, we are adhering to the new guidelines set out by local authorities. Through increased cleaning and hygiene methods, ensuring the safety of employees and customers is our number one priority,” says Greipel.