Next was provided with a safety briefing and overview of its vehicles, and given tips on how to improve fuel efficiency by Mercedes-Benz vans.
The retailer runs more than 250 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter models, with 100 joining the fleet earlier this year.
It has 11 Driver Assessors, who are based at depots around the country. Their role entails coaching and evaluating all 280 of its drivers.
A team of experts from Mercedes-Benz attended Next’s distribution centre in South Elmsall, near Doncaster, where they held a classroom session and provided a detailed overview of one of the depot’s own vans.
Phil Belk, Next transport manager, said: “We knew our Sprinters were safe and efficient but this course of instruction has underlined their quality, and confirmed our belief that we made the right decision to invest in the Mercedes-Benz product.”
They provided insights on the finer points of the Sprinter’s technology, and explained how it can help to increase safety and boost fuel efficiency.
The programme covered the Adaptive ESP dynamic handling control system, as well as Crosswind Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, and Collision Prevention Assist, all of which are designed to help the driver retain full control and avoid accidents.
A round-table discussion examined the effects that driving style can have on the fuel consumption of the Sprinter 313CDI, which is capable of returning more than 40 mpg.
Richard Mawson, Next’s Driver Development Manager, said: “We realised immediately that our drivers could benefit from this level of expert input, and began discussions with the manufacturer.
“The session was extremely informative – I think we all learned a few things we hadn’t known before, and gained a deeper understanding of some aspects we’d been aware of but not fully appreciated.”