Mercedes-Benz Vans has launched a dealer excellence programme to drive up standards for customers through the introduction of Van ProCenters.

To become accredited Mercedes said dealers must achieve 50 standards covering business areas such as extended opening hours for customer convenience and meeting strict requirements on staff training to ensure there is a specialist available to meet every customer need from bodybuilding to fleet sales to out of hours servicing.

In addition there are obligations for dealers to make a wide selection of demonstrator vehicles available, to retail a broad range of used vans and to achieve best-in-class brand and product presentation at their premises.

From an aftersales perspective, ProCenters must provide specialist service advisers and technicians and be able to guarantee replacement vehicles and collection and delivery services.

Mercedes said it would supply ProCenter dealers with additional investment, support and training and would subject each ProCenter to an annual audit in order to retain its accreditation.

Two dealer groups are already enrolled in the scheme, Cicely Commercials, based in the north of England and Mercedes-Benz Truck and Van Northern Ireland.

Mercedes UK van boss Steve Bridge said 60% of its 84-site UK network was currently undergoing the coaching process to become accredited and added that the aim was to bring the full network on board by the end of the year.

Bridge said the purpose of the ProCenter initiative was “for the customer to understand the dealer is a specialist in sales and service”.