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Over the past few months, most businesses were suddenly faced with a set of very unusual challenges.  For some it meant adapting business models in a fight for survival, others had to search for new opportunities, and the very fortunate few were seeing an increase in demand for their products or services and had to quickly rise to the challenge to keep up with the demand.

Founded in 2006, SAN-I-TIZE, specializes in the direct importation of medical and emergency supplies to hospitals, governments and larger corporates was not granted immunity from these challenges. The COVID-19 outbreak ensured a sudden surge in demand for Personal Protective Equipment throughout the Africa and the world. The increased demand provided SANITIZE with a unique challenge in their supply chain – delivering smaller orders to customers on time, every time, and a sudden influx of smaller online orders.

The increase in business meant finding vehicles fit for the new challenge of delivering smaller orders quickly and efficiently.

“We needed vehicles that suit our unique business needs. With the vast selection of bakkies and vans available on the market, the options were both daunting and confusing, but the decision was quite simple. The abundant enclosed and secure cargo space offered by the Opel Combo Van in combination with its exceptional fuel efficiency was simply unmatched. Ultimately, the fact that the Combo won ‘2019 International Van of the Year’* (IVOTY) was the final clincher,”

said a company spokesperson.

“After all, hundreds of motoring journalist from around the globe simply cannot be wrong!”

The fact that the Opel Combo offers so much branding space, also played an important role for SAN-I-TIZE, as branded Opel Combo vans act as ‘moving billboards’ for the company.

The Opel Combo Cargo LWB, with an overall length of 4 753 mm, a generous width of 1 848 mm and a superior payload of up to 1 tonne was the apt choice for SANITIZE.  The unique square shape of the Combo, and double access side sliding doors ensure incredible usable cargo space of a maximum 4.4 cubic metres with a flat floor. This offered SANITIZE the space needed in order to maximise the number of orders fulfilled in a single round-trip, also reducing the number of trips required back and forth to the warehouse and easy loading and off-loading from three access doors.

The Combo’s lowered load floor height allows for easy handling of supplies and the two side sliding doors on either side of the vehicle

The Combo’s lowered load floor height allows for easy handling of supplies and the two side sliding doors on either side of the vehicle, PLUS the dual opening back doors, allow for easy access to ensure quick, effortless and efficient deliveries.

The Cargo is powered by a 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine (the same engine featured in its popular Opel Crossland X 1.6TD derivative) and the fuel efficiency of 5 liters per 100km is easily achievable in day-to-day driving scenarios.  The performance is plentiful, thanks to the 68 kW and 230 Nm of torque, perfectly paired with a 5-speed manual transmission.

For SANITIZE, the Combo’s fuel efficiency paired with the usable cargo space adds exceptional value, not only by making every delivery trip go further, but supplying sufficient evidence that the Combo adds exceptional value to their bottom line.

The Opel Combo won the title of International Van of the year 2019 (IVOTY), the most coveted title in the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment. The Combo received a total of 127 points from the panel of specialist journalists from 25 European countries and completely outclassed its closest competitor, the second placed Mercedes Benz Sprinter (92 points) by a whopping 35 points!

The jury praised the Combo’s numerous assistance systems, such as the sensor-based overload indicator and the excellent all round visibility. The high driving pleasure, practical assistance systems and the economy of the Combo played a decisive role in Opel bringing home the world award.

The Combo is not short of any modern comfort, safety and security features either.  Featuring Hill-Start-Assist, Air-Conditioning, Radio/Bluetooth®/USB/MP3 Input and 4 Speakers as well as Airbags, 3-point Seatbelts, ABS, EBD and ESP. But equally important, it features maximum added security features like remote-controlled central locking, rear interior electronic door lock and an anti-theft immobiliser – keeping valuable cargo secure and out of sight in its alarm-equipped, enclosed shell.

The new OPEL Combo was designed as part of a cross-business programme in which services were systematically tailored as closely as possible to the needs of B2B customers around the globe in terms of convenience, Driving Assistance Systems and safety.

The OPEL Combo Cargo Van continues OPEL’s legacy of superior performance, exceptional fuel economy, with a conquering spirit and style second to none

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa