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Mercedes-Benz to drop Freightliner Sprinter van in U.S.


kscarbel2
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Automotive News  /  August 21, 2020

Mercedes-Benz is dropping the Freightliner Sprinter van in the U.S. at the end of the 2021 model year, with output ending at a South Carolina plant in September 2021.

Sales are expected to end by Dec. 31, 2021, the company told Freightliner dealers this week.

Mercedes has sold the Sprinter van, redesigned in 2018, through two channels, Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz dealers, and will continue to build and market Mercedes versions.

The company cited multiple factors for the decision to drop the Freightliner van, introduced in the U.S. in 2001, including current and future economic conditions as well as the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mercedes-Benz is also reviewing its global product lineup to reduce costs and complexity.

"The high homologation costs for a single-market, low-volume product as the U.S.-only Freightliner Sprinter brand were central to this decision," Robert Veit, vice president and managing director of Daimler Vans, told dealers in a letter this week. "We will be working in close communication with the Freightliner Sprinter Dealer Board as we roll out the necessary actions to discontinue the distribution of Freightliner Sprinter."

U.S. sales of the Sprinter rose 7.4 percent to 32,000 last year, and 19 percent to 14,582 in the first half of 2020. A Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman said the Mercedes model accounts for the bulk of deliveries.

There are 36 Freightliner Sprinter dealers in the U.S.

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They will not sell any less Sprinters, they are just rationalizing their dealer network.  The Mercedes version continues.  I see lots of Sprinters every day, but all Mercedes branded.  I don't think any Freightliner dealers around me carry them.

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It probably is a mistake, but DTNA needs to convince Freightliner dealers to sell the things.  Only 35 Freightliner dealers sell Sprinters?

Yes, the Bullet should have continued as a Freightliner, but I think corporate politics got in the way of that.  It was a messy divorce.

Don't get me started on the whole DaimlerChrysler thing.  Jurgen Schrempp was a genius and Daimler + Chrysler was a brilliant idea.  The whole thing was sabotaged from inside Daimler and used in a coup to get rid of Schrempp.  Daimler was also able to empty Chrysler's bank account in the process to bail out a failing Mercedes Benz. 

Supposedly Freightliner helped in the development of the Ram 4500/5500.  There were also rumors that the 'Sterling' truck line was almost going to be named 'Ram'!      

 

 

 

Edited by RoadwayR
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56 minutes ago, RoadwayR said:

It probably is a mistake, but DTNA needs to convince Freightliner dealers to sell the things.  Only 35 Freightliner dealers sell Sprinters?

Yes, the Bullet should have continued as a Freightliner, but I think corporate politics got in the way of that.  It was a messy divorce.

Don't get me started on the whole DaimlerChrysler thing.  Jurgen Schrempp was a genius and Daimler + Chrysler was a brilliant idea.  The whole thing was sabotaged from inside Daimler and used in a coup to get rid of Schrempp.  Daimler was also able to empty Chrysler's bank account in the process to bail out a failing Mercedes Benz. 

Supposedly Freightliner helped in the development of the Ram 4500/5500.  There were also rumors that the 'Sterling' truck line was almost going to be named 'Ram'!      

 

 

 

Mercedes was failing?  

 

3 hours ago, kscarbel2 said:

I think Freightliner dealers losing the Sprinter is a mistake, equal to the loss of the 4500/5500 Sterling "Bullet" line-up (These Sterling trucks should have been pulled under the Freightliner brand).

 

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KSC- you  think so?  I guess in my mind, if you believe Hebe's original "pronouncement " that the Ford purchase was a good thing because they were the "vocational leader" sounds like the Bullet was a good compliment to the rest of the Sterling line.  Of course when you look at it in terms of conditions today,  F'liner is the "vocational" king.  That 300 million they paid Ford was the best way they could have bought market share.  I was surprised they kept 
Sterling going as long as they did.  Let's see, kind of like the situation Mack is in right now.

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