Outlook on the van sector of the future in the run-up to the first North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV): As part of North America’s largest commercial vehicle show in Atlanta, Mercedes-Benz Vans is unveiling the first details of the new Sprinter.
The design sketch indicates that the most important market launch in the van sector in 2018 will also set new standards in terms of appearance.
With its new look, the Sprinter once again shifts the boundaries of its segment. The vehicle presents itself consistently in the acclaimed design language of Mercedes-Benz and embodies the opposites of this philosophy: emotion and intelligence. The front of the Sprinter presents itself with horizontal and clearly drawn headlights in a distinctive and athletic manner.
The outstanding new features include the comprehensive introduction of driving assistance systems and connectivity services in combination with new telematics, which will bring a leap forward in efficiency for vehicle and fleet management. Moreover, the new Sprinter can be even more precisely adapted to individual transport and sector requirements thanks to a considerably extended range of variants. With this combination, the new Sprinter is a unique proposition as an overall system solution in the van market.
The market launch will commence in Europe in the first half of 2018, with the other markets to follow. Further details of the vehicle will be announced in the coming months.
Modern mobility solutions meet classical Sprinter attributes
“We want to do more than just build the best vehicles. We want to offer the most suitable mobility solution for every sector and for every transport assignment. And that is precisely our focus with the upcoming Sprinter generation as an overall system solution. It also goes without saying that the new edition of our iconic van possesses the classical attributes of reliability, safety and cost-effectiveness,” Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said at the NACV show.
The show offers the perfect setting for revealing the first details of the new Sprinter. The USA is one of the world’s fastest-growing van markets. After Germany, it is now the second-largest individual sales market for the large van. With the new Sprinter plant in North Charleston, which is currently under construction, the Business Unit will in future be able to meet the demand from North American customers even more economically with vehicles “made in the USA”, and significantly reduce delivery times in this market. The Sprinter vans for the US market have so far been produced in Germany. However, because of high import tariffs, they have been partially dismantled in a time-consuming process and reassembled at the North Charleston plant. As the only manufacturer in the large van segment to do so, Mercedes-Benz Vans will continue producing the next-generation Sprinter at its German production sites Dusseldorf and Ludwigsfelde.
Precursor to the future initiative adVANce
For Mercedes-Benz Vans, the introduction of the new Sprinter is more than the presentation of a new model. The Sprinter fully reflects the future initiative adVANce, which was presented in autumn 2016. It aims at megatrends such as digitalization and urbanisation. The accompanying realignment of the company is driving forward the transformation from purely a vehicle manufacturer to a provider of complex, comprehensive mobility solutions. The first new model to represent this further development is the new Sprinter.
The van that gave its name to a whole vehicle class
The van that founded a whole segment has been the flagship model of Mercedes-Benz Vans since the launch of the first Sprinter in 1995. With a total of more than 3.3 million units delivered to over 130 countries, the Sprinter is one of the most successful commercial vehicles ever, and the best-seller in the product portfolio of Mercedes-Benz Vans. With a growth rate of around 10 percent from January to March 2017 compared to the same period last year, the Sprinter achieved the most successful first quarter performance in its more than 20-year history. Likewise, in the first half of 2017 the Sprinter was able to break a new record: In total, sales increased to about 96,200 units (previous year 95,100).
The Daimler presentation at the NACV show not only gives a pretaste of the third Sprinter generation, but is also dedicated to further technological advances in the light and heavy commercial vehicle sectors. With its brands Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, FUSO and Western Star, Daimler has a market share of over 40 percent and is the undisputed No. 1 in the US commercial vehicle market.