Another link between Daimler and former partner Chrysler has been broken with the announcement that Mercedes-Benz will take over sales, marketing, distribution and service of Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner Sprinter commercial vehicles in the US.
The move will see the creation of Daimler Vans USA – located in Montvale, New Jersey – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG.
Mercdes-Benz-branded Sprinter models will replace the current Dodge versions, returning the three-pointed star to the US and Canadian light duty commercial vehicle market. Sales begin in January 2010.
Introduced in North America in 2001 under the Freighliner brand, the Sprinter has now sold over 130,000 vehicles in the US and Canada. The Sprinter – rebranded Dodge in 2003 and assembled in the US from German-made kits, is offered in three vehicle lengths on two wheelbases.
Chrysler is expected to replace the Dodge Sprinter with models from new alliance partner Fiat whose Iveco unit builds a range of vans that directly rival the Mercedes line.