Postal service flicks Renault, ordering 1300 Vitos and Sprinters over the next few years

Mercedes-Benz Vans fleet department has been delivered a major win, with Australia Post giving it back the lucrative commercial vehicle contract currently held by Renault.

The postal service will add 1300 Mercedes Vito and Sprinter vans to its fleet over what is understood to be a three-year agreement. Deliveries will start with the Vito in the coming months, and from the start of 2019 will include the new-generation Sprinter.

Mercedes lost the major-volume Aussie Post contract to Renault five years ago, a deal which has given the French brand’s commercial vehicle division in Australia a sizeable leg-up. Mercedes-Benz Vans sells about 3300 Vitos and Sprinters a year, so 1300 vehicles over three years is a handy bump.

“At Australia Post our number one priority is the safety of our people which is why the Vito and Sprinter models have been chosen for our new fleet of vans and pickup and delivery trucks,” general manager of transport and air networks for Australia Post, James Dixon, said.

All Vitos and Sprinters sold will be fitted with automatic transmissions - we suspect the lack of an automatic Renault Trafic may have been a snag - along with side airbags and forward collision warning systems.

The new generation Sprinter will up the game significantly. It can be had with the brand new smartphone-style MBUX HD infotainment system with LTE connection, cloud-based updates and conversational voice recognition. It’ll also be available with autonomous emergency braking, radar cruise control and lane assist.

Dixon said the new vans were part of a “broader collaboration between Australia Post and Mercedes-Benz”, whatever that means. We expect this to include some fully electric vans, which Mercedes is rolling out in Europe from next year, offering modest 150km driving ranges.

Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia CEO and managing director Diane Tarr said “having such a strategic partner to help us launch the new Sprinter at the end of this year, and possibly bring new features to life in the future like Mercedes PRO connect integrated fleet management system and our e-Drive electric powered vans, ensures Mercedes-Benz Vans and Australia Post continue to drive innovation in the e-commerce delivery industry”.

What it means for us is we will see a lot of bright red Benz vans kicking around again.