Fiat Talento panel van

Mercedes-Benz and Fiat are the clear leaders for customer satisfaction, according to a major survey of van fleet operators.

The UK Fleet Van Market Report 2018, by Sewells Research & Insight, questioned 1,088 fleet decision makers responsible for running light commercial vehicle fleets that range from a handful of vans to several thousand.

The respondents assessed 13 manufacturers in 33 different areas of vehicle performance, cost effectiveness, and aftersales support.

The full report is only available to purchase, but the summary shows results in five key areas: build quality, availability of conversion options, availability of specific fuel type, reliability and proximity of servicing facilities.

UK van market survey 2018
Good results for Fiat, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota. Not so good for Mitsubishi, Iveco and Renault.

Fiat achieved the highest percentage of ‘very satisfied’ customers in 14 of the 33 categories, closely followed by Mercedes-Benz with 13 top scores.

Citroën and Toyota also topped or came close to the top in several categories, but market leader Ford managed only one top score, and Volkswagen failed to come in the top three in any of the 33 categories.

Based on the five categories in the table above, Mercedes-Benz sat atop the table with top scores for both reliability and build quality. Fiat led the way for conversion options and (along with Citroën) proximity of service facilities.

Toyota was very consistent across the five categories to end up with the third-best result, just ahead of sister brands Peugeot and Citroën. Interestingly, there was quite some variation in individual scores for the two PSA brands in areas like conversion options and servicing facilities, even though the vans are essentially identical in almost every way. This suggests that the two brands have quite different perceptions in the marketplace.

Isuzu also recorded a set of above-average results from its D-Max pick-up, but from there things slipped quickly.

Despite outselling everyone else for approximately 200 years now, Ford’s results were right on the market average in most of the five metrics below. Just behind were Volkswagen and Vauxhall, both let down by poor build quality and servicing scores.

Nissan just edged Iveco and Renault for 10th place, and the wooden spoon (by some margin) went to Mitsubishi. The company only offers the L200 pick-up in the UK, but scored lowest or equal-lowest marks in all five of the categories shown.

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