The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is continuing its success story. One year after the start of production on July 1, 2013, the Sprinter continues to be the Number 1 large van in the segment for vehicles weighing around 3.5 tons GVW. Between July 2013 and the end of May 2014, Mercedes-Benz Vans sold around 134.000 units (previous year 116.000) of the new model in Europe and North America alone. This translates into a sales increase of 15%, compared to the same period of the previous years. The biggest sales market is Germany, followed by the U.S. and the UK. In Germany, the new Sprinter has substantially increased its market share to the record level of over 30%.
Due to the high demand, Daimler’s van division has correspondingly increased the vehicle output at its two German production plants, Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde. More than 700 vehicles are currently rolling off the assembly line in Düsseldorf each day, while the plant in Ludwigsfelde produces over 200 vans. The Sprinter is sold in over 130 countries worldwide; more than 75% of the vehicles are exported.
“Last year, our new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter once again raised the bar for the van sector,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “The new Sprinter is unmatched with regard to safety, efficiency, and quality, and it is still the pioneer in the large vans segment. Our customers appreciate the Sprinter. The high demand shows that we have the best van on the market.”
In total, Mercedes-Benz Vans invested about €300 million in the new Sprinter. Large amounts were earmarked for the plants in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde, where the investments flowed into new production equipment and state-of-the-art machinery, for example.
“Because the new Sprinter is our most important product and production project of the coming years, we correspondingly made our locations fit for the future,” says Frank Klein, Head of Production Mercedes-Benz Vans. “The investments are paying off each and every day, because only top-quality vehicles roll off the assembly lines at our plants in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde. I would particularly like to thank our teams at the two plants, since their commitment and hard work are making this high production load possible. Moreover, a glance at our full order books lets us look forward to the second half of 2014.”
Impressive from the very start — the history of the Sprinter
Ever since the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter made its debut in 1995, the van has made a name for itself all over the world. The vehicle has always been a pioneer when it comes to assistance and safety systems. In 1995 Mercedes-Benz became the first manufacturer in this segment to introduce the anti-lock braking system (ABS) in a van by fitting it to the Sprinter. Another first for vans, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®), followed in 2002. Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved another pioneering feat in 2006 when it further developed ESP into ADAPTIVE ESP®. All of these developments have made the Sprinter a top seller. With sales of over 2.7 million units, the van has been helping customers in a wide variety of applications for the past 19 years.
Located in the segment for vehicles with around 3.5 tons GVW, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter straddles the line between cars and trucks, as defined by German traffic law at the time the van was introduced. However, the innovative vehicle concept has not only met with a great response in Germany, as the pioneering van is also rapidly conquering markets abroad. Today, the van is sold in thousands of variants in around 130 countries worldwide.
That the Sprinter has become a global vehicle is also reflected in its production locations. In addition to rolling off the line in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde, Germany, the van is now produced in Charleston, South Carolina, González Catan, Argentina, Fuzhou, China, and Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. That makes the Sprinter a truly global vehicle and one of the key pillars of the “Vans goes global” growth strategy of Mercedes-Benz Vans. The strategy is consistently globalizing the division’s business and exploiting additional earnings potential in new growth markets.