So You Can Now Buy A Renault Kangoo Van with a Mercedes Badge – But Why Would You?
Badge engineering is common place now, with so many car makers offering almost the same thing, but with their own badge on it. Latest to enter that market is Mercedes who have just announced their new “City Van” contender called “Citan”. OK, there’s no mistaking the huge 3 pointed star on the grille, but there’s also no mistaking that this is a Renault Kangoo with a Mercedes badge, so what’s the point?
We read a story about this new van, 20 or so paragraphs long, but it only got to the first line of the third paragraph before it was telling us how the van was based on a Renault Kangoo (not that you would need telling, you only have to look at it). The story went on to say that Mercedes has put a lot of work into putting some clear air between the Kangoo and the Citan.
Mercedes say that the steering and suspension have been tuned to suit the Mercedes feel and whilst I don’t know what that means, personally, I have always felt that Mercedes vans felt old fashioned to drive in comparison with the likes of Transit, Traffic etc. The article says “whatever specification and trim they opt for, Citan buyers are getting a well respected urban van, with the additional cache of a three-pointed star on the bonnet.
So my question here is why? Why what is the point (or the three-points in this case)? The Renault Kangoo is a good little van, so buy a Kangoo. Surely the fact that a company the size and power of Mercedes are not able to engineer their own small van is an awful indictment as to why you should go off and buy the Renault?
I don’t want to appear unnecessarily grumpy about this, because lots of manufacturers share platforms and vehicles, but you would expect that Mercedes, with all of their resources and manufacturing facilities, if they were at all serious, would make their own product, after all, these small vans have been around for donkeys years, they aren’t something new.