• Sep 2, 2009
2007 Dodge Sprinter – Click above for high-res image gallery

As much as Daimler has been hating on Chrysler lately, one would think that the Pentastar was the cold-hearted deviant who stuck a knife into the heart of the German automaker. The "Merger of Equals" turned out to be a bum deal for Chrysler, but at least it was able to procure some hardware from its German ex. Some parts of the LX platform that underpins the Dodge 300C, Charger and Challenger, and the platform that will underpin the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and Durango all came from Mercedes-Benz, as does the excellent Sprinter van.

Though the Sprinter has been met with some level of success at select Dodge dealers, Mercedes has decided to pull the plug on Chrysler in 2010. About 350 dealers sell the Sprinter as a Dodge, and the large commercial van has managed sales of about 20,000 per year since it donned the Ram head in 2003. Mercedes is switching to 120 dealers branded Daimler Vans USA.

The updated Sprinter van, which will now be branded as a Mercedes, will receive a new 3.0L diesel engine that will reportedly be eligible for sale in all 50 US states. The Daimler dealers will reportedly be able to sell up to 18,000 vans per year, a sizable portion of the van's production quota of 32,000 vehicles per year. The remaining production will be sold as Freightliners. The commercial vehicle company has 45 specialized Sprinter van dealers across the nation.

Daimler says the reason for the switch has a lot to do with the fact that the vehicle is now established in the market, though one has to wonder if the German automaker is making an effort to further distance itself from its former step-child. The big losers in the deal could be the 350 Dodge dealers who spent $30-50K to upgrade their dealerships to sell and service the vans.



[Source: Automotive News - subs req'd]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 48 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess maybe an Iveco van will replace the Sprinter in the Dodge lineup.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "In the US the Mercedes brand has long been luxury cars and only luxury cars."

      Mercedes also did box delivery trucks back in the late 80's/early 90's.
      • 5 Years Ago
      People I know run an airport shuttle service, They have used a fleet of Dodge vans forever with good results. They bought about a dozen Sprinters. Have had nothing but grief with them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Some parts of the LX platform that underpins the Dodge 300C, Charger and Challenger, and the platform that will underpin the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and Durango all came from Mercedes-Benz, as does the excellent Sprinter van."

      LX platform is a failure with exception of Chrysler300 everyone of those is dud. Considering Hyundai is on verge of passing Chrysler, i would be surprised if they even survive past 2012 unless they replace their lineup with Fiats and Chinese impots.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Dodge 300C?? Huh?!? I thought this was Autoblog! Dodge don't make the 300C...that would be sold under the Chrysler name. Sure wish the writers would read what they type before they post their great stories.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bloke: that's incorrect. Where the gas V6 models are sold, they are labeled as 300 (not 300C). However, most markets do not get the gas V6 models. In many markets, only the gas V8-powered 300C and the diesel V6-powered 300C CRD are offered.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not the 300C, it's the 300. The "C" just means it has a V8.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I didn't even look at Wikipedia. I looked at Chrysler websites from around the world. But I'll admit when I'm wrong. I didn't look at the websites for Brazil, Australia, or Japan. I only looked parts of at Europe, Asia, and South America. So in Australasia and parts of South America, you are correct.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I didn't even look at Wikipedia. I looked at Chrysler websites from around the world. But I'll admit when I'm wrong. I didn't look at the websites for Brazil, Australia, or Japan. I only looked parts of at Europe, Asia, and South America. So in Australasia and parts of South America, you are correct."

        The 300C built in Graz for markets in Europe, Asia and Australasia uses the C moniker for all models. The first version offered in these markets was the 300C with the 3.5 litre V6. The other engine options followed later, along with the estate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "It's not the 300C, it's the 300. The "C" just means it has a V8."

        That's only the case in North America. In many other international markets, the C is the only variant offered and comes with V6, V8 and diesel engine configurations.

        • 5 Years Ago
        I only looked at the UK, and he appeared to be correct there so I chalked it up to "you learn something new every day".
      • 5 Years Ago
      At several military bases in Europe we have many of these vans. From Iveco, FIAT, MB, Ford, Opel/Vauxhall and Renault. All of these are very good van in diesel form. We used them and abuse them and they do last. The interior on all these vans is practical and spartan but what impressed me the most is the small, economical and powerful diesel engine. Is olny logical for FIAT to want to sell their vans under the Dodge brand instead of the Sprinter. FIAT and sister brand Iveco make tons of money selling vans in Europe and they do the same here in the US. Now is for Ford and GM to bring their Euro vans. The Transit was always my favorite.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why are you thinking about the Scudo or Ducato as replacement for the Sprinter? Have a look to IVECO, the daugther of FIAT for commercial vehicles. The Daily is the real competitor for Sprinter.

      http://www.ecodaily.iveco.com/#/en/home
      • 5 Years Ago
      Another new engine, the 3rd engine in 4 years? I can't see why. The current Diesel engine seems to work well.

      Presumably they're doing this just to spite Chrysler? Opening 120 dealers just sell 18,000 vans seems like a lot of overhead.
        • 5 Years Ago
        'especially since Chrysler is now part of the Fiat Group, which itself offers direct competition to Mercedes in the light commercial market in many markets around the globe.'

        That would be what I meant by spite. Perhaps I did misuse the term somewhat. But to take over sales yourself even if the overhead appears it will eat a lot of your profits because you are concentrating on making sure you don't give your competitors a leg up, that comes under spite to me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chrysler and Daimler no longer have any formal business ties apart from agreements such as this one whereby a Mercedes commercial vehicle is marketed as a Dodge in North America.

        Given the model is getting refreshed and Daimler is updating the Mercedes version, it makes sense for them to market the model in North America themselves directly - especially since Chrysler is now part of the Fiat Group, which itself offers direct competition to Mercedes in the light commercial market in many markets around the globe.

        There's no "spite" involved whatsoever.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ...as an employee of Fedex Express..I can tell u our mechanics HATE these vans..they pray for the return of the Ford E van to return to fleet..or maybe the Ford Transit...even the Transit Connect would be ideal for some shuttling of freight
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do we really think that Fiat's influence, $, and product will arrive in time?

      The news for Chrysler seems to go from bad to worse, almost by the hour. Does anyone see a happy ending here?
      • 5 Years Ago
      While in other parts of the world Mercedes has long sold a full range of vehicles. In the US the Mercedes brand has long been luxury cars and only luxury cars. I think they are taking a bit of a risk by stepping away from that with a commercial van sold as a Mercedes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Transit is a firm rival to the Sprinter, Crafter and Ducato vans. The payload of the new Transit ranges from 948kg to 1,794kg, whereas the Ducato/Boxer/Jumper trio's payloads range between 1,075kg and 1,850kg. The Sprinter's payload ranges from 923kg to 1,434kg. VW's Crafter can offers greater payload options, ranging from 986kg to 2,418kg.

        The chassis-cab versions of the Crafter, Transit and Sprint all offer higher payloads.

        The smaller Scudo/Partner/Jumpy trio rivals Mercedes' own Vito.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They'll use a version of the Inveco Daily/Fiat Ducato. They offer 17 m^3 of cargo space and can load up to 8000 lbs (~3628 kg). It is already available in Mexico.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mercedes is the biggest truck producer (over 7.5to) in the world.... luxury cars are only a part of the company, they sell Mercedes transports world wide why should it hurt their sales in the USA?

        Since Mercedes has introduced the Sprinter model in 1995 (replacing the Mercedes T1) they have sold 1.3million Sprinter world wide in 2 model generations...
        Since the Sprinter is in production, it dominates this segment... Mercedes builds 1/4 - 1/3 more Sprinter a year than Fiat the Ducato (including rebaged Ducato sold as Citroen Boxer / Peugeot Jumper).

        The Fiat Scudo, Ford Transit are not in the Sprinter class.... they are much smaler their load capability range from 1000-1200kg (2200-2600lbs) with a cargo space of ~5-7m³ ...the Sprinter can load up to 2710kg (~6000lbs) with a cargo space of up to 17m³
      • 5 Years Ago
      Time for VW to step in. They sell the same model as the Crafter. Its looks match Dodge much better than the Merc version. VW sells a rebadged Chrysler model so why not the opposite.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with u!! VW needs to bring the Crafter state side
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