Will go on sale in Europe during the first half of 2018.
Mercedes has managed to find a way to get us all excited about a new van courtesy of a design sketch heralding the teaser campaign for the next-generation Sprinter. To coincide with the first North American Commercial Vehicle Show (September 25-28), Mercedes-Benz Vans has released the adjacent image along with some details about the Sprinter, which this time around isn’t being developed with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
The new utilitarian vehicle is going to be offered in a greater array of versions to better cater a wider array of customer needs. Like with basically all Mercedes vehicles, the 2018 Sprinter will feature a multitude of driver and safety assistance systems, along with improved telematics meant to boost efficiency for fleet managers.
It makes perfect sense why Mercedes is teasing the new Sprinter at the NACV show in Atlanta as the van will be built in the United States at a new factory in North Charleston that’s currently under construction. While the current U.S.-spec Sprinter is built in Germany and partially dismantled and reassembled at the North Charleston plant due to high import tariffs, the next-gen will carry the “Made in the USA” label.
This decision has been taken to allow Mercedes capitalize on the growing demands for vans in the U.S., the second-largest individual sales market for the Sprinter in the entire world, after Germany. In addition, delivery times for U.S. customers will be drastically reduced as a result of building the large van locally.
Aside from putting together the Sprinter at the new U.S. factory, the van will continue to be assembled at the Ludwigsfelde and Dusseldorf facilities in Germany, with the latter to also be responsible for manufacturing the all-electric derivative set to arrive at a later date.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
As far as the exterior design is concerned, it goes without saying companies don’t have a lot of wiggle room as a van has to be boxy in order to provide a spacious interior suitable for carrying a wide variety of cargo. Unsurprisingly, the adjacent sketch shows the 2018 Sprinter will have a few things in common with the Vision Van concept shown about a year ago, but toned down for a production model. As such, it lacks the wraparound windshield of the concept (pictured above) and comes with chunky side mirrors instead of cameras.
The front grille has also gone through substantial changes and is now more in line with the grille of the X-Class pickup truck. It’s flanked by LED headlights with clusters bigger than those of the aforementioned Vision Van. The concept’s flared wheel arches have been carried over, but bear in mind this is only a design sketch, so there is a good chance the real deal won’t look as nice.
Mercedes-Benz Vans has made the promise to disclose additional details about the third-generation Sprinter in the months to come, prior to a market launch scheduled for the first half of 2018 in Europe. Other markets to follow shortly.
Source: Mercedes-Benz Vans
Gallery: 2018 Mercedes Sprinter teaser
Sketch gives a preview of the future design idiom: Mercedes-Benz Vans reveals first details of the new Sprinter
- Market launch for the new edition of the best-selling large van in the first half of 2018
- Design: distinctive and athletic front
- Focus on versatility: full-spectrum mobility solutions for different sectors
- Leap forward into the digital world: next Sprinter generation embodies the future initiative adVANce
Atlanta/Stuttgart – 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 ten 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.