As home working boom gathers pace Green Retreats adds more Mercedes-Benz vans from Northside
Garden buildings specialist Green Retreats has commissioned another 19 vehicles from across the Mercedes-Benz Vans range to help it meet demand from the UK’s expanding army of home workers for stylish and comfortable spaces from which to ply their trades.
The Buckinghamshire company’s latest vehicles arrived via established supplier Northside Truck & Van, following a year in which it has risen to the challenge of helping customers adapt to the ‘new normal’.
Green Retreats was established in 2005, since when it has installed more than 13,000 contemporary garden rooms that have enabled homeowners throughout the UK to fully realise the potential of their properties.
Recruited as a brand ambassador last March, architecture guru and BAFTA award-winning ‘Grand Designs’ TV presenter Kevin McCloud has lent impressive weight to the company’s latest marketing drive and helped to drive a huge increase in enquiries as the pandemic took hold. Green Retreats now proudly claims to be the UK’s biggest and most trusted supplier of garden rooms, offices and studios.
The company, which operates from headquarters in Westcott, between Bicester and Aylesbury, switched to Mercedes-Benz more than a decade ago, after being let down by its previous vehicles. Its aim was to secure improved product reliability and aftersales back-up, and it has not looked back since.
Today, every one of Green Retreats’ 63 vans wear a three-pointed star. Acquired with competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Finance, the new consignment comprises 11 Sprinters, three mid-sized Vito models and five smaller Citans. They will be maintained within the manufacturer’s Dealer network under fixed-cost ServiceCare Complete plans that allow Green Retreats to budget with confidence.
The Sprinter PROGRESSIVES are among the UK’s first 315 CDI variants. They employ the 150 hp/340 Nm version of Mercedes-Benz Vans’ latest 2.0-litre engine; the same four-cylinder unit is also available in 170 hp/380 Nm and 190 hp/450 Nm trim.
As well as offering more power and torque than its predecessor – up by 7 hp and and 10 Nm in the case of the 315 CDI – the new engine is more fuel-efficient and offers a reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the previous equivalent model. It is also smoother, quieter and lighter.
Six of the Sprinters are long L3 chassis cabs with dropside bodies, and were pre-built for Mercedes-Benz Vans’ Ready to Work programme. As well as being available at short notice, they are covered by single, bumper-to-bumper warranties.
The dropsiders typically deliver the panels, roofing sections and base frames used in the construction of garden buildings, as well as materials such as gravel and cement. The remaining Sprinters are extra-long L4 panel vans, and carry interior panels, floor coverings, insulation and the like.
Green Retreats’ Sprinters employ rear-wheel drive. Likewise, its new Vito 114 CDI PROGRESSIVE PLUS models, which have long L2 bodies and 134 hp, 1.8-litre engines. The Citan PURE vans, meanwhile, are a combination of 90 hp 109 CDI and 110 hp 111 CDI models with long L2 bodies, and offer outstanding fuel-efficiency of up to 65.7 mpg.
The Vito and Citan vans are assigned to Green Retreats’ Home Power Electrical Services division, which specialises in the installation of wiring, plug sockets and light fittings to garden buildings. Constructed from high-quality and sustainable materials, these structures have been used for a huge variety of purposes – from home offices and summer houses to gyms, garden bars, photography studios and even dog grooming parlours.
Marketing Manager James Fox said: “Green Retreats started out with a small fleet of vans by another manufacturer. It wasn’t long, though, before they started to suffer reliability issues, while because of the high mileages our vehicles cover their warranties were quickly expiring.
“We solved the problem by moving to Mercedes-Benz. Its vans are built to a far higher standard and take big distances in their stride – our Sprinters, for example, can easily rack up 70,000 miles per year. Crucially, too, the manufacturer’s three-year warranty has no mileage limit. Coupled with the MobiloVan scheme, which includes free, 24-hour breakdown cover, it adds up to the finest aftersales package on the market.”
While Green Retreats’ Mercedes-Benz vans have always lived up to their billing in terms of performance, reliability, safety, comfort and all-round quality, Northside Truck & Van’s first-class customer service has also helped to ensure that the operator keeps coming back for more.
Mr Fox continued: “Sales Manager Chris Banks and his colleagues are very proactive when it comes to staying in touch and providing progress updates on any orders that are going through. He clearly cares a lot about our account and will go out of his way to make sure we’re happy – that includes, in normal times, making personal visits from his base in Doncaster.
“Our orders are always handled professionally, and the Dealer has also demonstrated flexibility when we’ve been forced to make late adjustments, which is always much appreciated. It’s a great relationship and explains why we’ve come to see Northside more as a partner than a supplier.”