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Mar 15, 2016
- Sprinter established the large van segment in 1995
- Record sales of 194,200 units in 2015
- Market leader in numerous countries around the world
- Three millionth vehicle to be turned into a premium-segment camper van by Hymer
- Volker Mornhinweg: "Three million Sprinter in just 20 years is a sign of great success. The Sprinter with its six production plants worldwide is a shining example of our growth strategy 'Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global'. And we still have many plans for our flagship in the future, as well."
Stuttgart – Mercedes-Benz Vans celebrates an important milestone with its success van, the Sprinter. Since its market launch in 1995, the division has delivered three million units of its "world vehicle" to customers. The large van is driven in over 130 countries. 2015 was the most successful year for Sprinter in its history. In the year of its 20th birthday, sales of the Sprinter rose by four percent to 194,200 vehicles. Mercedes-Benz Vans is expecting further overall growth in demand in 2016. Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, handed over the three millionth Sprinter to Bernhard Kibler, Managing Director of camper van manufacturer Hymer, at a press event today. Hymer, a bodybuilder partner to Mercedes-Benz Vans, will turn the anniversary vehicle into one of its premium-segment HYMER ML-T camper vans.
"Three million Sprinter in just 20 years is a sign of great success," said Volker Mornhinweg. "The Sprinter was the founder of the segment for large vans and remains highly successful to this day - throughout the world. The Sprinter with its six production plants worldwide is a shining example of our growth strategy 'Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global'. And we still have many plans for our flagship in the future, as well. We aim to continue the success of the Sprinter series in 2016."
Market leader in numerous countries around the world
The Sprinter is one of the most successful commercial vehicles of all time and a best-seller in the Daimler product portfolio. Following a record year in 2015, it has made an equally promising start to 2016. Right at the beginning of the year it was able to assert itself as market leader in numerous countries around the world, including Germany, China, South Africa and Argentina. The most important markets for the Sprinter up until now have been in Western Europe, account together for 55 percent of unit sales. The US has now become the second-largest single market for the Sprinter in terms of unit sales, after Germany. In 2015 Mercedes-Benz delivered some 28,600 units to customers in the USA - eleven percent more than in the previous year (25,800 units).
Mercedes-Benz Vans successful in the growing camper van sector
"The Sprinter is the perfect large van for every situation in life. Whether moving house or delivering goods ordered online - it always delivers supreme Mercedes-Benz quality. And we are systematically extending the range with different variants," explained Volker Mornhinweg. "What's more, for our partners the Sprinter provides the perfect base for a wide and varied range of bodies, from ambulances to luxury motor homes."
Mercedes-Benz Vans has developed along highly positive lines in recent years in the growing camper van sector. This year, too, the division's global sales and market share are continuing to rise in this area. Growth of over ten percent was recorded in the German market alone in 2015, amounting to sales of some 28,000 units - and it continues to offer potential. Specialist bodybuilders play a central role in this segment for Mercedes-Benz Vans, covering as they do a wide spectrum of customer demand - for additional variants of camper vans, for example.
Three millionth Sprinter delivered to Hymer – for conversion into HYMER ML-T
An important bodybuilder for Mercedes-Benz Vans is the caravan and camper van manufacturer Hymer, based in Bad Waldsee in Baden-Württemberg. The company, which was founded in 1957 , is the European market leader in the premium segment. It is part of the Erwin Hymer Group, which comprises several vehicle brands and is also leading in the areas of consultation, lease hire, sales and after-sales service. Hymer is an official "VanPartner by Mercedes-Benz". This means that the company belongs to the exclusive circle of bodybuilders that Mercedes-Benz Vans audits and certifies as meeting its high standards in respect of quality, sales and after-sales. Hymer has relied on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as the base vehicle for its premium-segment camper vans since 1995. The collaboration between the two companies goes back more than 40 years now: the first Hymermobil was based on a Mercedes-Benz van.
"Mercedes-Benz Vans is a strategically important partner for us. The vans with the star are acknowledged to be among the safest in their class. The Sprinter, in particular, offers an extensive range of safety equipment, with its various driver assistance systems such as standard-specification Crosswind Assist, which is unique in our sector. Combined with our bodybuilding technology and premium-class equipment and fittings, we can offer the customer a camper van that is uncompromising in its operating safety and living comfort. We are delighted that our longstanding partner is handing over the three millionth Sprinter to us. We offer our sincere congratulations to Mercedes-Benz Vans on this significant anniversary and look forward to continuing our excellent collaboration," said Bernhard Kibler. "Our customers can look forward to a few surprises this year, too."
The HYMER ML-T, for which the three millionth Sprinter is to serve as the basic vehicle, is the first partially integrated camper van to be equipped with the innovative Crosswind Assist system from Mercedes-Benz Vans. Mercedes-Benz Vans is the first van manufacturer to offer Crosswind Assist as standard. The Hymermobil ML-I is the first fully-integrated camper van to have Crosswind Assist fitted. It is also based on the Sprinter.
Expansion of the Sprinter worldwide production network
The Sprinter is produced at six locations in total around the world: in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde, Charleston in the state of South Carolina in the US, the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires and, within the framework of the joint-venture company Fujian Benz Automotive Co., Ltd., in Fuzhou in China. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic is being produced by Russian partner GAZ in Nizhny Nowgorod, 100 km east of Moscow.
So as to be able to offer faster and more individualised supply of the next Sprinter generation to its North American customers, the division will - as announced at the beginning of 2015 - be building a new production site in Charleston in the US state of South Carolina. Mercedes-Benz Vans will be investing around half a billion US dollars in the development of the new plant in the coming years. The ground-breaking ceremony will take place in 2016.
As the only manufacturer in the large van segment to do so, Mercedes-Benz Vans will also continue producing the next-generation Sprinter in Germany - at its Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde sites. To this end, the division will be investing 450 million euros in the modernisation of both German plants. Furthermore, Düsseldorf will play even more of a central role in the Mercedes-Benz Vans global production network, as a centre of competence for worldwide Sprinter production. Chassis cabs and platform Sprinter will continue to be produced at the Ludwigsfelde site, which celebrated its 25th anniversary as a Mercedes-Benz plant at the start of February 2016. Capacity utilisation was exceptionally high at both German plants in 2015 on account of the healthy demand and remains at an excellent level.
Formula for success: quality plus systematic customer orientation
When it launched the first Sprinter in 1995, Mercedes-Benz Vans had recognised the signs of the times and the needs of customers. High quality standards were established, both in development and in production. Revolutionary aspects right from the start included the dynamic design, the numerous base variants, the efficient engines, exemplary safety equipment and the ergonomic cockpit. This innovative concept, the outstanding product quality and satisfied customers ensured a successful start for the sophisticated van. Coupled with its high profile, the Sprinter gave its name to an entire vehicle category and is today synonymous with the segment for vans with a gross vehicle weight of up to five tonnes.