Mercedes-Benz VP, Managing Director talks Sprinter value

Mercedes-Benz VP, Managing Director talks Sprinter value, popularity growth

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Bernhard Glaser, vice president and managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans USA

Since its introduction into the U.S. since 2001, Sprinter vans have been growing in popularity within specific markets, providing significant value for customers. Recently, Mercedes-Benz was recognized for its achievements in total cost of ownership (TCO), receiving a Residual Value Award from ALG, the analytics division of TrueCar Inc. as the industry benchmark for projecting future vehicle values and depreciation data.

The annual ALG Residual Value Awards honor the vehicles and brands that are predicted to retain the highest percentage of their original price after a conventional three-year period. The fact that Sprinter full-size commercial van sales are up 17.4% YTD in 2014 in the US suggests that its customers are well aware of the value.

Meeting demands

The Sprinter vans’ continued growth in popularity could be directly attributed to its continued evolution to meet market demands.

Bernhard Glaser, vice president and managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans USA, says, “Sprinter has always been a premium commercial van that has shown leadership and a trend-setting approach. Our latest news is that we are bringing a true optional 4×4 system to the Sprinter (V6 clean diesel powertrain variant) to arrive at U.S. dealers in the second quarter of 2015. This option’s standard setting has high range for $6,500, and customers can also choose low range to go with it for $6,800.”

Leveraging technology

Technological advancements are a key component of the 2015 Sprinter. For 2015, the Sprinter gets standard Crosswind Assist for 2500 models and increased service intervals up to 20,000 miles depending on usage. Crosswind Assist is based on the Load-Adaptive electronic stability program (ESP) system and uses opposite-side braking to keep the vehicle in a lane during high wind situations, Glaser states.

He went on to say that, in addition to the optional 4×4 system, the 2015 Sprinter gets a third available roof height with the optional Super High Roof, as well as an optional super ultra-low emissions vehicle (SULEV) version of the standard 2.1 liter 4-cylinder engine, which has 161 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque and is the first and only diesel to achieve the SULEV designation.

Keeping an eye on TCO

Total cost of ownership values remains (TCO) high. Sprinter vans continue to be positioned to gain market share, Glaser states, “Aside from the upgrades coming in 2015, the Sprinter’s evergreen strengths are top levels of total cost of ownership, and providing a premium ownership experience as well as top levels of safety and ergonomics.”

Coming to the U.S.A.

Recently, the company announced it is bringing a new midsize commercial van to the U.S. and Canada in Fall 2015 called the Mercedes-Benz Metris. Sold around the world as the Vito, it will be sold as both a cargo and passenger version on this continent.

According to the company, while it is larger than other recent smaller commercial van entries from domestic U.S. commercial van manufacturers, it will not have any competitors at the time of its market introduction. Ownership benefits will also include a right-sized approach for top levels of TCO, safety and ergonomics, and a premium ownership experience.

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