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Some of the world's automotive conglomerates are more guilty of badge engineering than others. With very few exceptions, the acquisition of Chrysler by Daimler-Benz (call it a merger if you like, but we're not fooled) is not among the worst offenders. The Chrysler 300C may look to some like a Benz, and the Crossfire may be built on an old SLK platform, but Mercedes isn't selling rebadged Vipers overseas and Jeep hasn't slapped its own label on a G-wagon. (Yet.) The most notable exception comes from the commercial side of operations, where DCX brings the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van over to the North American market as a Dodge or Freightliner. There was no hiding it, either, as the American "version" kept all the same components, body panels, even the name. Just the badge was changed. But Montana-based OEM Sprinter Parts can switch it back for you if you'd like.

Because DaimlerChrysler didn't change anything beside the badging, the "conversion kits" are relatively straightforward. You can get the Mercedes grille (complete with three-pointed star and optional 316CDI grille badge), wheel hubs, interior fittings...the works, right down to the signature sticker for the windshield. The whole kit costs less than $300 for most models. Now that's the cheapest upgrade from a Dodge to a Mercedes you'll find anywhere.

[Source: OEM Sprinter Parts via Winding Road]



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  • 15 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      #5 is right, a sweater shop in Lucerne, Switzerland, uses a vintage, white Rolls with brass radiator and gold trim for a customer service vehicle.

      Check out Winebago's version of the Sprint as a Type-C motor home, called the "View". One other RV company uses it, also, and better built than Winnies. Forget the name. Both about $85K.
      • 8 Years Ago
      god that is retarded and i waisted a click on that... i thought there was a chance to finally get a 4x4 sprinter
      • 8 Years Ago
      I remember when Cadilac parts were more expensive to replace even though those parts were used on other GM products as well. I wonder if MB parts will cost more then Dodge or Freightliner.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #7 Now that's funny.
      • 8 Years Ago
      A limo builder around the corner has half a dozen black Sprinter limos with full Mercedes badging. I was wondering how they pulled that off. They look great.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #10 - It is definitley not an official DaimlerChrysler thing, but I would be willing to bet that many Dodge dealers offer to install the Mercedes badging. And probably at significantly more cost than the $300 it costs for parts and the minor labour that is put into installing the items.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Merc has updated the Sprinter range in Europe so guess where the leftover old parts end up...

      btw, has Dodge announced the new shape Sprinter in the states yet?
      • 8 Years Ago
      That's a great idea. The sprinter looks absolutely wrong as a Freightliner or Dodge.
      What's next? Golf badges for Rabbits? Skyline badges for G35s? Toyota Harrier badges for Lexus SUVs?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The only reason it was ever badged as a Dodge was to get into all those dealerships without a huge outcry from the Mercedes dealers... not to mention possible violations of laws and/or contracts. The Freightliner label didn't really work because there aren't enough Freightliner dealers. Where are you going to go when it breaks?

      As for the Mercedes kit, well, Bentley grilles for the 300C are selling well... and there are lots of Nissan owners driving around with the R badge that they don't merit and don't understand.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #8 - Interesting point. I just got back from a week in Maui, and the overwhelming majority of Sprinters I saw over there (mostly tour-group fleet vehicles) were Mercedes-badged, not Dodge or Freightliner. I was trying to figure out if there was some sort of rebadging going on, or if DC was selling the Sprinter under the Mercedes brand there. Still not sure...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I see a lot of rebadged sprinter rolling through my dealership in Dallas, didnt know what was going on.
      • 8 Years Ago
      For $300, I'd probably do it. Contrary to #8, I'd think for some services you want to look fancy, such as catering or floral deliveries for upscale clientele. Even plumbers, AC guys, or carpet cleaners serving high end neighborhoods. Some people "only want the best". It's still just a dorky van, but if you can give it that euro snob appeal, it doesn't look so bad to some people. Not me personally, I don't care, but if I was trying to impress clients, I'd probably get the MB badge kit.
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