The three-pointed star brand is to offer used Euro 6 models in exchange for older vans in its scrappage scheme
Mercedes-Benz Vans is the latest brand to offer a scrappage scheme to incentivise customers to upgrade their vehicles.
As part of the programme, which has no fixed end-date and will continue to run according to demand, discounts of up to £5,600 are offered on the firm’s range of LCVs.
Unlike other manufacturers’ schemes, Mercedes’ programme isn’t limited to new vehicles, with van owners and operators able to get a discount of £1,000 on the price of an ‘Approved Used’ Euro 6 van.
Under the terms of the scheme, Euro 4 and 5 vehicles will be swapped for newer vans, while Euro 1-3 LCVs will be scrapped, with the dealer taking care of the paperwork on behalf of the customer.
Speaking exclusively to What Van? ahead of the launch of the programme, Simon Neill, sales director at the brand, said the decision to include used vehicles in the programme came about because he wants to do the best thing for the environment.
“When I look at scrappage programmes from other manufactures, I have to say that I think they’re a little bit of a marketing spin,” he said. “As a sales director I’m thinking ‘all those gimmicks are trying to sell vans’. They [other manufacturers] don’t really care about the environment, they don’t really care about trying to clean the vehicle parc up, all they are interested in is trying to sell some new vehicles.”
At present, Ford, Toyota, Renault, Peugeot and Citroen offer programmes, which are due to run until the end of the year, while Fiat Professional offered up to £13,500 off the price of its vans, but the offer only ran in September.
He added: “I’m interested in doing the right thing for the environment and doing the right thing for customers out there who might want to try and upgrade and also do the right for the environment. If I look at the programmes that are out there from Ford and Volkswagen, I imagine myself in a 10-year old van trying to earn a crust. These offers might be great, but they are new vehicles – I’m in a 10 year-old van, can I hop into a brand-new vehicle? I’d love to, but the gap is just too big.”
Neill admitted adding used vehicles into the mix is a risky strategy and said the reason for limiting the second-hand offering to Euro 6 models was out of a desire to sell the cleanest vehicles to customers. He said: “Internally, as an OEM, that [including second-hand models in the programme] sits right outside the box in one that’s marked ‘extremely difficult, volatile and may go off at any moment”.
Mercedes’ sales director also criticised other manufacturers’ schemes that only run until the end of the year and said he would do “everything in his power” to keep the programme going for as long as possible, as long as customers are taking advantage of it. “I want to give the customers the flexibility to pre-order, and for me, I get the benefit of a fast start into next year, so why would I want to shackle myself into a 2017 registration?” he concluded.