autoevolution

Mercedes-Benz Cuts Volkswagen Van Ties in 2016

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is one of the most successful large vans in the world, while its rebadged version, the Volkswagen Crafter, is somewhat riding on its success wave.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4 photos
Mercedes-Benz SprinterMercedes-Benz SprinterMercedes-Benz Sprinter
Both vans are manufactured by Daimler AG assembly plants, with their Dusseldorf and Ludwigsfelde facilities having built over 280,000 Volkswagen Crafters for the Wolfsburg-based brand between 2005 and 2012.

That is soon going to change, though, as Mercedes-Benz just announced plans to realign their future production strategy for the Sprinter, with the contract manufacturing for Volkswagen to cease in 2016 and not be renewed.

According to Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans and ex-AMG head honcho : “Both partners had a benefit from the long lasting cooperation. With the next Sprinter, which is currently in development, we will ultimately be dependent on the production capacities that we have currently made available to Volkswagen. That’s why our employees will only produce our own brands in the future.”

In other words, Mercedes-Benz's reason is that they are expecting quite a lot of growth in van sales and they need the entire production facilities at full capacity to satisfy future demand. A bit strange, considering that in the first half of 2013 Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved sales of 122,059 units, which are only slightly more than the previous year's 120,547 units. Maybe they are cooking something else altogether.

 
 
 
 
 

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