Daimler will produce the next generation of its Mercedes-Benz Sprinter full-size van in the U.S., a move that will improve order-to-delivery times for the vehicle, Daimler has announced.
Daimler is moving some production capacity from Germany to accommodate the shift. The van is also sold under the Freightliner nameplate.
"We can cover the growing demand for large vans in the North American market economically only if we produce the vehicles locally in the NAFTA region," said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "That's why we have decided to produce the next generation of the Sprinter in North America."
Until now, the Sprinters sold in the U.S. have been produced at two German plants. Because of high import tariffs, the vehicles are partly dismantled and reassembled at a plant in Charleston, South Carolina. The process results in long delivery times and makes the vehicle more expensive for U.S. customers, according to Daimler.
The U.S. is now Daimler's second largest market for Sprinter sales, followed by Germany.
Daimler will also spend 450 euros ($572 million) to modernize its German plants in Dusseldorf and Ludwigsfelde. In Dusseldorf, Daimler will modernize the body shop, the paint shop, and the assembly line. Daimler will also complete extensive updates in Ludwigsfelde, where it has produced the Sprinter since 2006.