September 3, 2009
A Dodge No More: Behind the Wheel of a Freightliner Sprinter
By Jim Brennan
I had the opportunity to road test the Freightliner version of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, and came away quite impressed. With this morning’s announcement that makes it certain that Dodge will be losing the Sprinter, Freightliner dealers will still be in the hunt, along with select Mercedes-Benz Dealers.
Owning a home usually means that you have to call a contractor every once in a while to fix a drain, add some electrical outlets, service your air conditioning unit, or perform some general repair that you don’t have a clue on how to fix. And it seems that more plumbers, electricians, handymen, heating and air conditioning technicians, and general contractors are showing up on the job with an unusual vehicle, the Sprinter. And after spending a week with one, performing the jobs that these guys do, it’s no wonder that you are seeing them everywhere. Over the past half decade they have been sold through Daimler’s Freightliner subsidiary and its former partner Dodge. That is about to change as effective January 1, 2010, when Mercedes-Benz will take over the distribution and sales of the popular vans, it’s another sign that the divorce between former partners Daimler and Chrysler is getting increasingly acrimonious.
The Sprinter is built in Germany by Mercedes-Benz, and is one of the most popular vans on the continent. It started showing up on these shores wearing Daimler’s North American truck brand, Freightliner. To work around the so-called “chicken tax” on imported trucks, final assembly is handled at a plant in South Carolina. One of the first customers for this “do-it-all” van was Federal Express in 2002, and it was a revelation. Read my entire test at Automotive Traveler.
Post a comment