The latest news on the Mercedes Vito is all positive. The company is going to re-launch the cab early in the New Year, when it will start selling a revamped version of the vehicle through selected franchised Mercedes dealers.
The collapse of the firm’s Rear Wheel Steering (RWS) subsidiary One80 in September left many fearing that the company would desert the trade, leaving drivers with no choice of vehicle once again. But this is not so says the firm. Mercedes claims it has an upgraded rear wheel steering mechanism, which will be fitted to all new cabs.
It will also be offered to all existing Euro V Vito owners in a Mercedes Benz sponsored recall and upgrade at its dealerships. November’s new registration figures are slightly down on last year. Only 88 cabs joined the ranks, but interestingly three of these were new Metrocabs, which have been licensed to pick up passengers whilst under-going real world testing. The other sales were made up of 84 TX4s and one Vito. Second hand values for cabs remain sky high as the uncertainty surrounding the Mayor’s ULEZ programme continues to reverberate throughout the trade. This has been exacerbated by Nissan’s shock decision to withdraw from the London market at the last minute. It is feared that the new air restrictions would make the new petrol model redundant just a few years after the firm planned to start selling it. While there were no rapid charging points in London the firm admitted it could not see a future for its planned electric cab either. One well known dealer told TAXI that the current percentage residuals being achieved by three and four year old cabs are the highest he has known in 40 years of buying and selling cabs. Until the uncertainty and threat of a reduced age limit is lifted it is unlikely the market can return to anything like normal.