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Mercedes-Benz is building a $500-million factory in Charleston, SC, to build the next-gen Sprinter domestically. Construction of the plant will begin in 2016, and it will cover 200 acres.

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If you look at the Sprinter and wonder how Mercedes-Benz can possibly compete against locally produced commercial vehicles with a model built in Germany and shipped over the Atlantic, you're not alone. In fact, in order to mitigate the tariffs (but at the cost of added logistical expense), Mercedes builds the vans in Germany, takes them half apart again, ships them as kits and reassembles them in Ladson, South Carolina.

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Line up any two comparable vehicles, and eople are going to want to race them. Need proof? In its latest track battle, Auto Express wants to know which commercial vehicle can lap a circuit faster – a Ford Transit or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Let's face it, neither of these European vans were ever meant to be near the track unless they are delivering a racecar and a ton of parts for a fun weekend, but it's massively fun to watch them give it a go anyway.

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The truth is, we talk a lot about how great a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or a Bentley Mulsanne or a Rolls-Royce Phantom would be for a cross-country drive mainly because they're far, far sexier than the real kings of the long-distance haul: vans.

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Mercedes-Benz is known for packing its cars with luxury features, but the rear passengers in some Sprinter vans are getting a shower that they don't expect. The rear air conditioning system is reportedly leaking in some models, and owners are boiling mad. A class-action lawsuit was filed in California alleging that Mercedes knew about the problem and didn't fix it.

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If you've ever visited Germany, you know that Mercedes-Benz doesn't exactly carry the high-end cache in its homeland that it does in the US. While the Three-Pointed Star is still certainly known for its luxury sedans and sports cars, the brand also represents most of the taxis on the road, and its Sprinter vans make many of the deliveries. The upscale image in North America might be beneficial when trying to lure new buyers to a CLA-Class, but Merc is seeing pushback from some commercial buyers

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Back in December, Mercedes-Benz announced a four-wheel-drive version of its endlessly charming Sprinter van (the European model is pictured above), but didn't make a mention of any plans for US market sales. Now, that's all changed, as the German automaker has confirmed that its Sprinter 4x4 will be available for US consumption, with the 2015 model hitting dealerships in the first quarter of next year. This means Mercedes will offer the only four-wheel-drive work van in the US.

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According to the automaker, the van you see above is "The Mercedes Among MPVs." That statement is undoubtedly true, because it is indeed both a Mercedes-Benz and an MPV, but also because it's quite likely one of the more luxurious ways to move a bunch of people and their stuff from one place to another, regardless of where that may be.

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Commercial vehicle sales are a key component to the success of many automakers, and in its persistent drive to become one of the largest in the world, it's a segment Hyundai can't very well ignore. But while it offers the i800 and H-series vans overseas, it hasn't offered anything bigger than a Tucson or Santa Fe in North America since the demise of the Entourage and Veracruz. That could all change in the near future, however, if these latest spy shots are anything to go by.

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I spend a lot of time trying to convince my friends and colleagues that the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the world's most perfect vehicle. Basically – in my eyes anyway – there is nothing it cannot do, and do well. And that point figures to be more true now that Daimler has introduced this all-wheel-drive Sprinter 4x4 model.

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Mercedes-Benz is launching a new program in Palo Alto, CA, designed to help busy parents cope with their kids' ever-changing schedules. It's called Boost by Mercedes-Benz, and essentially consists of a squadron of silver-arrowed Sprinter vans designed solely to tote the kids about when mom and dad can't be there.

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Back in January, we heard that Volkswagen and Daimler would not be renewing an agreement that provided VW with the fullsize Crafter van based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. This agreement, which began in 2005, was only supposed to run until the end of 2016, and now Mercedes has confirmed the report stating that the partnership will terminate as planned.

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Mercedes-Benz has moved into the Caravan Salon 2013 held in Düsseldorf, Germany with several new live-in showcases, starting with the Sprinter Caravan Concept. The tall-boy cargo van has been turned into a cut-away model with a kitchen with gloss-white fixtures, a living area, a bathroom with integrated wardrobe, front seats that can swivel all the way around, laminate flooring and walls and ceiling covered in Alcantara, plus LED lighting throughout. Mercedes says it ships 4,000 Sprinters t

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Last week, Mercedes-Benz released the details for the updated 2013 Sprinter intended for global markets, but this week it has announced what changes are being made to the US-spec version of the van for the 2014 model year, including the Freightliner model. As expected, most of the changes made to the European model will be present on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter when it goes on sale in the US, which is expected to be this fall.

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Daimler and Renault officially joined hands in April 2010. Since then, Nissan has agreed to build engines for the Germans, Daimler is expected to construct a plant near the Nissan plant in Mexico, the Smart ForFour and Renault Twingo will share platforms and electric siblings and the same Renault manufacturing facility, and Mercedes is supposedly considering a Renault-based X-Class vehicle to slot between Smart and the A-Class. Not bad for less than three years' work.

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By the end of this year, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will be the second-oldest nameplate in its segment here in the States, but with hot new competition waiting in the wings, Mercedes-Benz is giving its hauler a freshened look and more equipment to stave off rivals. The Sprinter was a pioneer in bringing Euro-style delivery vans to North America, and it's inspired others to transplant their Continental offerings, with the all-new Ford Transit and Ram Promaster models launching shortly. It will al

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