HANOVER -- Following on the success of the Sprinter van in the U.S. market, Daimler plans to introduce a mid-size van sometime next year. The van made its debut in Berlin, Germany in late July, but Daimler execs were coy on an actual release date for the American version of the van, saying only that it would be introduced in the fall 2015 in a MY 2016 designation.
It's known as the Vito in Europe and Mexico, but Daimler executives speaking to reporters during the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany, referred to it as the VS20.
What we know so far it will be a rear-wheel drive with a 3.5-liter gasoline engine. It will come in cargo and passenger versions, with simple configurations and what is described as a long wheelbase. It will be sold only through Mercedes-Benz dealers in the U.S., not at Freightliner dealers as the Sprinter is.
Bernhard Glaser, vice president and managing director for vans at Mercedes-Benz USA, said the van will be well suited to plumbers, trades people and the like looking for a vehicle they can operate from home.
"The VS20 will fit into a home garage," he explained. "It's not too tall and not too long. It's the kind of van a customer will be able to park at home, even on residential streets that prohibit the parking of commercial vehicles."
The Vito van will be built at Mercedes' van plant in Charleston, South Carolina.