So did Stegmann think that buyers would be put off by seeing a three-pointed star on what is essentially a Renault product?
“Not in the least,” he said.
“There are a lot of van ranges which are the same – Citroën, Peugeot and Fiat for example.
"But a lot of people who buy vans don’t even realise that they are basically the same as other models and anyway we have heavily modified the Citan from the original and we are convinced that buyers will be impressed.
"They come to us because they want a three-pointed star and that means quality and reliability – they will get both with Citan.”
What’s on offer
The name Citan is derived from the two words “city” and “titan” and the van is built very much for the urban world.
One thing that Mercedes-Benz dealers in the UK pride themselves on is the way in which they not only sell vans to fleet customers but also offer advice too, so no doubt anyone wanting vehicles for longer hauls will be steered towards the bigger Vito and Sprinter.
But the Citan will be offered in a wide range of variants.
There are three wheelbases (Renault has stopped importing the short wheelbase Kangoo into the UK), four engines, including a petrol version, and a range of other options that should satisfy most fleet needs.
Bosses admitted that as they are entering a completely new sector, they are unsure as to which will be the biggest sellers so they have stressed that the range may be honed over the coming years.
Our bet is that the petrol model will be deleted as few fleets opt for this nowadays, unless adapting vehicles to run on LPG. There is no news as yet as to whether or not Mercedes will offer an electric version to mirror the Kangoo ZE.
The Citan will come off the Renault production line at Mauberge in northern France but at some stage, the Merc versions will peel off in a different direction for the Germans to tweak and twiddle with.
Mercedes-Benz staff will be on hand at the factory to make sure that all Citans come up to their exacting standards.
Gone is the front end of the Kangoo, to be replaced by a more Merc family look and gone too are the dashboard and seats, replaced by German items.