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Dragon’s new Mercedes-Benz Citan is “a prince among vans”

7th August 2013 Print
Mercedes-Benz Vans

A certain new baby has been much in the news of late – and with the arrival of its own ‘little treasure’ in the shape of a fuel-efficient Citan van, Dragon Signs & Print has completed its family of Mercedes-Benz light commercial vehicles.

Launched in February, the Citan is the smallest van ever to wear the famous three-pointed star, and marks the manufacturer’s debut in this growing market segment.

With a head office near the centre of Cardiff, Dragon Signs & Print offers a comprehensive service covering exterior and interior signage, vehicle liveries and banners, from initial on-site surveys and consultations, to design, manufacture and installation.

The company’s Citan 109 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Extra-long Dualiner is now working alongside examples from the two other model lines – the Vito and the Sprinter – which make up the core Mercedes-Benz van range. All were supplied and are maintained by the Cardiff branch of dealer Euro Commercials (South Wales).

The inherent economy of the 109 CDI model’s 90 hp diesel engine is enhanced for Dragon by a series of clever BlueEFFICIENCY measures including the ECO start/stop function – which turns off the engine whenever the vehicle is stopped in traffic, then restarts it as soon as the driver depresses the clutch – low rolling resistance tyres and optimised alternator and battery management systems. The result is a market-leading economy figure of up to 65.7 mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 112 g/km.

Managing Director Rhys Harrington and his brother-in-law Adrian Ward, the Technical Director, founded their company seven years ago.

“I’m a big fan of Mercedes-Benz vans,” says Mr Harrington. “They’re reliable, practical, comfortable and cost-effective to operate, while they also convey an image of quality which can only reflect well on our own business.

“I also have a great relationship with the dealer. Product quality is important, of course, but so, too, is service – I’m a great believer in the idea that ‘people buy from people’ and Euro Commercials look after us very well.”

As a Dualiner model Dragon’s Citan is fitted with a split-folding bench seat behind the driver’s and front passenger’s seats, allowing it to carry up to five members of the company team in comfort and safety. The Extra-long configuration still leaves a practical load compartment length of more than 1.3 metres.

Dragon Signs & Print also operates a pair of mid-sized Vito vans, a 109 CDI and a stylish 116 CDI Sport Dualiner. Completing the line-up is a Long-bodied 3.5-tonne Sprinter.

“We use the Sprinter for large external signage installations and the two Vito models for most routine projects,” continues Mr Harrington. “But even they’ve been too big on occasion, which is where the Citan comes in. It’s ideal as a little runaround for smaller jobs, and means that we’re able to restrict our fuel costs to an absolute minimum.”

Dragon Signs & Print has previously purchased its vans but on this occasion has taken advantage of a highly flexible, Agility finance package from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. This offers all the benefits of conventional hire purchase with a Guaranteed Future Value (GFV) – including low monthly repayments – but gives operators extra options at the end of the term.

Customers can choose whether to pay off the final lump sum and keep the vehicle, use the vehicle as a part exchange for a brand new one, or return it free of any further obligations, apart from an excess mileage charge if the initially agreed limit has been exceeded, and damage charges over and above fair wear and tear.

“It’s good to know that we‘re not committed now, but can decide which option bests suits the business at the end of the contract,” adds Mr Harrington.

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