After over eight million kilometers of test drives, and an investment of €25 million in the German van plants, the first new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter rolled off the assembly line in Düsseldorf during July last year and will be on display at the Mercedes-Benz Indaba stand from 10 to 12 May. By Jerome Raman.
Since its launch last year, Mercedes-Benz Vans has writen a new chapter in the Sprinter success story, which has set a new benchmark for the van sector. The new Sprinter features five new safety and assistance systems, including three van premieres. It is the first van to have engines that meet the future Euro VI emissions standard, and its incredible fuel consumption values (as low as 6.3 liters per 100 km) make it by far the best vehicle in its class when it comes to fuel efficiency. In the large vans segment, the Sprinter also impresses with its striking appearance.
Nicolette Lambrechts, Managing Director: Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa (MBSA) says: “We are indeed all excited in the Daimler AG network with the production of the Sprinter. There was a lot of hard work and planning globally that has now seen the assembly kick-off.”
Lambrechts elaborates that while the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Euro 4 and 5 engines were launched to the South African market at the Johannesburg International Motor Show in October last year, they will also be on view to at the Durban Indaba Travel Trade Expo, which takes place at the ICC from 10 to 12 May 2014. “We are confident that the indomitable Sprinter will continue to cement its market leadership position in the large passenger vans segment. It is a fantastic product that enjoys good support in the market. We are however not immediately able to launch the Euro 6 engine due to inadequate availability of cleaner fuels. ”
A festive ceremony was held to mark the launch of series production at the Düsseldorf plant. At the celebration, the first new Sprinter was unveiled to numerous employees by Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans among others.
At the start of series production, Volker Mornhinweg said, “The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has once again enabled us to set the bar higher for the van sector. The new Sprinter’s safety, efficiency, and quality are unmatched by any other van, and the vehicle remains a pioneer in the large van segment. The new Sprinter is the global vehicle in the commercial vehicle sector. The start of series production has really gotten the ball rolling, and I’m delighted to work together with all of you to continue the Sprinter success story.”
At the ceremony, Plant Director Martin Kelterer added, “Today is a very special day for our Düsseldorf van plant. We are of course extremely happy about the new Sprinter. All of the employees at the plant worked extremely hard to make this day happen and to prepare themselves for the new production processes. This shows that we have a highly motivated and qualified team whose members are extremely committed to their work. Thank you very much for your dedication. I wish all of us great success with the new Sprinter!” 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 brand to install the anti-lock braking system (ABS) into a van by introducing it into the Sprinter. Another van first, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), followed in 2002. Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved another pioneering feat in 2006 when it developed ESP into ADAPTIVE ESP. All of these developments have made the Sprinter a top seller. Over the past 18 years, the vehicle has posted total sales of about 2.5 million units and helped customers perform a wide variety of tasks. The Sprinter is a truly global vehicle and a key pillar of the “Vans goes global” growth strategy of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Today the pioneering van is being sold in thousands of variants in around 130 countries. In South Africa, the Sprinter enjoys a lot of support in the segments it plays in which includes the tourism transport sector.