Condition red at Daimler: Germany’s influential auto club ADAC gave the Mercedes Citan only three out of five stars in the Euro-NCAP-Crashtest. The loss of stars means “a meltdown” for the starred brand, says Automobilwoche [sub], “after all, the vehicle is supposed to excel with supreme safety.”
The Mercedes Citan is based on the Renault Kangoo, and is the product of an alliance between Daimler and Renault. Daimler should have known better, says the ADAC: “The weak result is surprising due to the fact that the Renault Kangoo did not show convincing results during the crash test back in 2008.” The ADAC expected Mercedes to do better, after all, the Citan had been launched with a campaign that focused on safety and quality, Automobilwoche says.
The Citan, launched by Mercedes in late 2012, was its re-entry into the small city van segment, which Mercedes had not serviced for seven years. Before the devastating test, the Renault-made Citan turned Daimler into a target for derision. The Citan is not just a rebadged Kangoo, the same van is also available as the Dokker of Renault’s discount-brand Dacia. In the business, the rumor goes that the Citan actually improved the sales of the Kangoo and the Dokker. Smart shoppers take the cheaper brands, and enjoy the feeling that they drive a Mercedes without ;paying for it.