Evening Standard moves to fully automatic transmissions

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London’s Evening Standard newspaper has taken delivery of some of the UK’s first new-generation Mercedes Sprinters, with fully automatic transmissions.

The Standard operates more than 150 delivery vans from Associated Newspapers’ state-of-the-art printing plant at Harmsworth Quays, Greenwich, where the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and The Metro are also printed.

Latest additions to that fleet are four new-generation Mercedes Sprinters. All 3.5-tonne 309CDI Short models, they arrived, with three 2.7-tonne Long-bodied Vitos, via south-east London dealer SG Smith. 

The Sprinters are equipped with fully automatic transmissions available for the first time as an option on the new range – the Standard has previously specified its Sprinters with the Sprintshift automated clutchless manual system, which has now been deleted.

Evening Standard transport manager, Steve Howe, said: “The decision by Mercedes-Benz to offer a conventional auto ‘box is a huge bonus for us. Given the stop-start, multi-drop nature of our work, a two-pedal set-up is essential, because it’s less tiring for the drivers and leaves them free to concentrate fully on the congested streets, rather than having to worry about which gear they’re in.”

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