Sprinter exec sees Euro-van boom in U.S.

Brand will add models, options, dealerships

The Sprinter launched the sloping-front, high-roof search to the U.S. commercial van marketplace. This is a 2014 model.

The newly designed Mercedes-Benz Vans USA unit that sells the Sprinter van will add dealers and models and will boost sales in the subsequent few many years, says the organization unit’;s leader.

Bernie Glaser, Mercedes-Benz USA vice president and managing director of the van unit, says that the Sprinter is the perfect automobile to capitalize on the expanding acceptance of European-style vans in the United States. These automobiles are taller and lighter and get greater fuel economic system than the vans they are changing.

“The Sprinter is the benchmark and the norm of the Euro-style vans,” says Glaser. “There is a revolution happening in the section and big alterations coming that were caused by the Sprinter — vans with a smaller footprint but huge cargo volume.”

Numerous automakers, which includes Ford, Nissan and Chrysler, have or are getting ready new van entries.

The Sprinter generates revenues of virtually $ 1 billion in the United States, said Glaser.

Mercedes ideas to accelerate growth with:

• A new 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine from the E-class sedan teamed with a 6-pace automated transmission.

• Standard electronic stability control, plus possibilities from cars this kind of as collision prevention, blind-spot help and a crosswind stabilization attribute.

• An all-wheel-drive variant of the Sprinter business van that debuts this week at a truck show in Indianapolis. It goes on sale in the spring of 2015.

• Thirty further U.S. Sprinter dealerships above the next 5 years, adding to the present 188. In addition, 57 dealerships for Freightliner — the Daimler AG commercial truck unit — sell the Sprinter.

Also, a little 12-passenger van is currently being considered for sale in the United States. Glaser explained a determination will be produced quickly.

Mercedes-Benz set up a worldwide van division last year as part of an inner reorganization. Every single industry now has a vehicle, van and industrial motor vehicle unit.

Bernie Glaser: “There is a revolution taking place in the segment.”

“We had focused resources in development and in production,” explained Glaser. “There is now more focus and dedication for vans on the revenue side.”

Final year Mercedes-Benz sold 21,816 Sprinters in the United States, up 4 percent from a year earlier. Glaser explained Sprinter outperformed the segment, which had sales of about 259,000 vehicles last year and grew 3 percent.

Mercedes-Benz had an 8.4 percent share of that section, in which Ford and Chevrolet are the leaders.

In January, Sprinter revenue were up 20 percent to 1,288, reflecting the upturn in the economic system and improve in the housing market, explained Glaser. The vast majority of Sprinters are sold to tiny businesses such as bakeries and contractors. 1-third of total sales are to large fleets such as Federal Express and UPS, he said.

This 12 months marketing will be expanded to even more boost sales, probably to Television in addition to print and radio, explained Glaser, who previously was vice president of advertising and marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA.

Glaser calls the Sprinter “the Swiss Army knife of the segment” since of its versatility.

The Sprinter is offered in 2 wheelbases — 144 inches or 170 inches — 3 lengths and 2 roof heights. It is sold as a 4-seat crew van, 2-seat cargo van, cab chassis, 12-seat passenger van or a minivan with as many as 18 seats.

The 2014 Sprinter acquired a freshening and a new base engine: a 2.1-liter BlueTEC inline 4-cylinder turbodiesel that generates 161 hp and 265 pounds-feet of torque. It is mixed with a 6-velocity automatic transmission.

Fuel economic system is about 20 percent far better than that of the optional 3.-liter BlueTEC V-6 turbodiesel, which generates 188 hp and 325 pounds-feet of torque and is accessible only with a 5-pace automated transmission.

Glaser said the V-6 gets about 25 mpg on the highway. The EPA does not fee industrial vehicle fuel economic system.

The Sprinter begins at $ 35,920 for the 2500 cargo van with a 144-inch wheelbase and regular roof. The price tag increases to $ 45,400 for the 2500 passenger van with a 170-inch wheelbase and large roof. Charges contain shipping.

You can attain Diana T. Kurylko at dkurylko@crain.com. — Comply with Diana on

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