By Bennett Oghifo
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter bus is looking like a strong contender in the mass transit business in Nigeria with an increasing preference of the bus by commuters.
Reports from the transport companies that use the Sprinter buses say that passengers choose these buses over others, even at slightly higher prices. A frontline bus service company, God is Good has many of these buses which get booked faster than the other buses in their fleet.
According to Mr. Oluwatobi Ajayi, the Managing Director of Jetvan Automobiles Limited, the sole authorised dealer of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses in Nigeria, “The company was incorporated in 2014 and commenced operations in April 2015 with the overall responsibility for Sales and After-Sales of Mercedes-Benz vans and mini buses in the Nigerian market. The company also operates a Hire division which provides VIP premier luxury bus charter. We understand that luxury is a deliberate mix: not just of flamboyance and pomp but also, of stylish functionality, first class taste and practical efficiency without stint.”
Ajayi said the company also has a ‘Hire division’ that makes use of the VIP Sprinter buses and that these have high quality interior leather and fittings, inter-com, Burl Wood treatments, central security systems, Control and Navigation Systems, GPS tracking, Communication Kits and Furnishing/Gizmos.
Ajayi said the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses would take over the market, stating that other bus nameplates dominated the market prior to their entrance but that now that they were in things would be different.
He said the Sprinter bus could last more than the other buses, has longer service intervals, and would still be sold half the value in the used vehicle market.
“If the economy picks up, everybody will want to buy a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses. All transporters, whether big, medium, and small will start using the Sprinter. They will go to their banks to perfect their purchase of these buses.
The body has 12-year warranty and the warranty for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is two years or 200,000 kilometres.”
Jetvan has service stations across the country and stock vital parts to ensure that the Sprinter buses are always on the road. The company also has partner service stations, which they certify only if they have standard equipment and at least two trained technicians.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a vehicle built by Daimler AG of Stuttgart, Germany as a van, chassis cab, minibus, and pickup truck. In the past the Sprinter has been sold under the Mercedes-Benz, Dodge, Freightliner, and Volkswagen nameplates. In the United States it is built from complete knock down (CKD) kits by Freightliner. They are now primarily marketed by Mercedes-Benz. Rebadged and re-engined Sprinters are also sold by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as the Volkswagen LT and the Volkswagen Crafter.
The first generation Sprinter was launched in Europe in 1995 to replace the famous but outdated Mercedes-Benz TN van dating from 1977. It was voted International Van of the Year for 1995.