MINI Clubvan
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MINI Clubvan
This is a great example of the MINI Clubvan combining roles as a practical commercial vehicle that can also make a powerful image statement for a business

THE MINI Clubvan is one of the trendiest commercial vehicles around – but for one company it was the images of the past that it evoked which were a strong part of its appeal.

And it wasn’t long before one of them was added to the fleet, liveried and out on the road catching everyone’s attention.

Strathlisla Distillery
Strathisla is home to Chivas Regal

It all started when Tristan Campbell, fleet advisor at Chivas Brothers, first saw photos of the MINI Clubvan.

Tristan immediately liked the look of this new LCV but in the nicest possible way it also reminded him of the grocery vans of the 50s.

He knew straight away that this was the ideal vehicle for the beautiful Strathisla whisky distillery in Keith, North East Scotland, where he works.

Chivas Regal is one of the world’s most famous whiskies and is part of the Pernod Ricard wines and spirits group. Tristan has been managing the UK fleet of over 300 vehicles for six years and was already very positive about BMW and MINI.

The company was already running two MINI Countryman models suitably liveried for the Beefeater gin distillery in Kennington, South London, so he had no qualms over choosing another MINI.

“Strathisla is often referred to as the ‘home of Chivas Regal’. Dating back to 1786, it is thought to be the oldest operating distillery in Scotland and definitely the most picturesque,” said Tristan.

Straisla Distillery
Scotch whisky distilleries are very serious about the image they present. The sophistication of the MINI as a commercial vehicle fits perfectly alongside the old traditions of the business

“It is one of our main tourist attractions and visitors love seeing our branded MINI Clubvan sitting outside or driving around town.”

The Clubvan is the first commercial vehicle from MINI and uses the same extended chassis as the Clubman estate. The rear seats and windows have been taken out, however, to make way for a separate, carpet-lined loading bay with an 860-litre capacity.

Business buyers can claim back the VAT on the Clubvan but the interior and fun handling have survived the conversion so it has all round appeal.

Tristan opted for the Cooper version of the Clubvan, which offers lively performance and fuel consumption of more than 51mpg. It is now used for trips between the distilleries.

The livery reflects the company’s heritage with tribute paid to its founders, brothers James and John Chivas who ran a grocer’s shop in Aberdeen in the mid 1800s.

But in keeping with the company’s famous “blending techniques”, it also discreetly incorporates the modern brand image.

“We were probably among the first to take delivery of the new MINI Clubvan,” adds Tristan. “so it turns heads as our still man makes his way between the distilleries to check the boilers.

“If its success at Strathisla is anything to go by, we may be looking at adding a few more for our visitor centres.”

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