- Göppingen Savings Bank uses the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 316 CDI as its first mobile branch
- Special-purpose body mounted onto a low-frame version of the Sprinter's standard chassis
- Exclusive mobile bank body custom made by Mercedes-Benz VanPartner Berger Fahrzeugbau
Stuttgart/Göppingen – The first mobile bank branch by Göppingen Savings Bank brings local banking directly to customers, even in remote locations. The distinctive bright red vehicle has been driving around the area of Göppingen since last November and has everything on board that people need for their everyday banking.
"We've never once regretted choosing a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and our employees who drive it are very satisfied", says Ingo Putschkat, deputy head of the building and fleet management department at Göppingen Savings Bank.
Under the bonnet of the Sprinter 316 CDI is a high-torque four-cylinder diesel engine delivering 120 kW (163 hp) – perfect for transporting money from A to B as quickly as possible. Even challenging climbs to remote locations in the hills of the Swabian Alb can be easily managed with the vehicle.
"It's almost a shame that we only ever drive short distances", says cashier Joachim Beck with a smile. "I have to admit that the way the vehicle handles has really surprised me. Despite the extra weight it needs to carry, the engine packs a real punch, even in the lower rev range."
When it comes to safety the Sprinter offers the most innovative dynamic handling control system in its class in the shape of ADAPTIVE ESP®. This brings together anti-lock braking (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BAS) and supplements them with a driving stability assist function. And should the need arise, the staff working at Göppingen Savings Bank's mobile branch can also rely on the help of the hill start assist that is integrated into ADAPTIVE ESP®.
Special-purpose body mounted onto a low-frame version of the standard Sprinter chassis
The special low-frame chassis used by the mobile bank branch was originally developed by Mercedes-Benz and AL-KO for lowline applications in the motorhome industry. The floor of the chassis, which sits 205 mm lower than in a normal Sprinter, is positioned at a convenient height for people to access the mobile bank's customer service area.
Special-purpose body custom made by Mercedes-Benz VanPartner Berger Fahrzeugbau
Frankfurt-based company Berger Fahrzeugbau GmbH, a certified VanPartner by Mercedes-Benz, was responsible for building the special-purpose body for the bank. Berger Fahrzeugbau has many years of experience in this field, having already produced around 800 specially modified vehicles. Awarding of the VanPartner certificate to a company is preceded by a qualification process: the Mercedes-Benz Vans Bodybuilder Center checks and assesses the quality of the company’s operations and of its sales and service activities. All bodies and conversions at www.vanpartner.com are either made in accordance with body/equipment mounting directives or have a certificate of non-objection.
The bank's employees can feel well protected thanks to the armoured bullet-proof body that incorporates special high-security materials. They can directly access the cash office through an alarmed door in the back wall of the cabin. The vehicle has inbuilt CCTV and the police can track it using its GPS locator. A satellite on the roof ensures a reliable connection to the data processing centre at the main branch in Göppingen. This means the mobile staff can offer exactly the same service that customers would expect from a "normal" branch. The employees even have use of an integrated bathroom unit with a wash basin and toilet.
Customers comfortably enter the service area on the other side of the bullet-proof glass using a push-button-operated swivelling door and the same kind of retractable access steps that are used in buses. The extensive use of glass and modern design elements make the inside bright and friendly. An intercom system and a steel drawer for passing items back and forth mean that customers with restricted mobility can also use the branch. The mobile bank branch is also very eco-friendly. Its lithium-ion batteries that charge overnight power all the office and communications technology as well as the lighting and air conditioning, all day long and without the need for an additional generator.