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Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Line Set to Expand in U.S.

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/2/2014 Edward A. Sanchez
2014 Mercedes Benz Sprinter© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Mercedes Benz Sprinter

Back in the early 2000s, Mercedes entered the U.S. market with the Sprinter tall van through DaimlerChrysler's Dodge and Freightliner franchises. Although no longer allied with Chrysler, Daimler still has a significant market share of the commercial van market. If there were any doubts that Mercedes was on to something with the Sprinter, one need look no further than all the other models that have followed since the introduction of the original tall van. Nissan, Ford and Ram have each introduced competitors to the Sprinter within the last few years.

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But Mercedes isn't taking its success for granted, or resting on its laurels. In an interview with Automotive News, Mercedes-Benz USA vice president Bernie Glaser, who is in charge of the company's van unit, said that the Sprinter sub-brand is well-positioned to take advantage of the growing popularity of European-style tall vans.

Mercedes-Benz recently introduced an updated V-Class rear-wheel-drive van in Europe, which is slightly smaller and lower than the Sprinter, more oriented toward passenger duty than cargo hauling. A van smaller than the Sprinter, believed to be based on the V-Class is reportedly under consideration for the U.S. market. The Sprinter currently generates $1 billion in revenue for Mercedes' U.S. operations, and MBUSA is planning on adding 30 more dealerships that carry the Sprinter from the current total of 188. The 4x4 model that recently debuted in Europe has been announced for sale in the U.S. market starting in calendar 2015.

Source: Automotive News

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