Mercedes-Benz Vans to invest more than two billion euros in new products and services REVISTA AUTO MOTORES INFORMA

Mercedes-Benz Vans to invest more than two billion euros in new products and services

24 feb. 2017 / Mercedes-Benz Vans once again set new records for unit sales, revenue and EBIT in 2016. Daimler’s van division handed over a total of approximately 359,100 vans and multipurpose vehicles to its customers, representing growth of approximately 12 percent (2015: 321,000). Revenue also increased by about 12 percent to 12.8 billion euros (2015: 11.5 billion euros).

Mercedes-Benz Vans’ earnings (EBIT) actually rose by a third to 1,170 million euros (plus approximately 33 percent from 880 million euros in 2015) and were for the first time above one billion euros. Return on sales also increased significantly compared with the previous year to 9.1 percent (2015: 7.7 percent) and was thus at the targeted level.

Mercedes-Benz Vans is making use of this strong position and will invest in total more than two billion euros in 2017 and 2018 in the expansion and renewal of its product portfolio and for new services. The main areas of investment include the new Mercedes-Benz pickup and the next generation of the Sprinter large van, as well as innovative overall concepts all around the products of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

As one of the first concrete results of the strategic initiative for the future, adVANce, Mercedes-Benz Vans Mobility GmbH will start with the launch of the first products in mid-2017 with its range of new rental, sharing, leasing and fleet-management services from one source. It is also planned to double the number of adVANce employees from the current total of approximately 200 to 400 by the end of the year.

A significant part of the investment by Mercedes-Benz Vans in 2017 will be for the ongoing modernization and expansion of the worldwide production network – especially in view of preparations for the new models. This year the division will invest approximately 260 million euros at the German Sprinter plants in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde alone.

Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans: “We are positioned better today than ever before. This is due to our outstanding worldwide team as well as a first-class portfolio of vehicles and services. Now is the right time to make investments in our future.”

“The product pipeline is well filled with our X-Class and the next generation of our van icon, the Sprinter. With those products, we intend to grow profitably also in the future and to conquer new markets,” continued Mornhinweg. “It is meanwhile part of our ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’ strategy that we think beyond our traditional products and business. We are pioneers in the industry with our adVANce future initiative. We are using it to adjust our product offering to meet customers’ needs even better than before, as those needs are changing dramatically due to urbanization and digitization. So with Mercedes-Benz Vans Mobility GmbH, we are active in a business with great potential and are meeting the continually rising demand for flexible and novel use concepts for our vehicles.”

Mercedes-Benz Vans Mobility GmbH to start launch of products in mid-2017

Mercedes-Benz Vans will invest approximately 500 million euros in advance by the year 2020. In the framework of its strategy, the division will increasingly develop from being a manufacturer into a provider of holistic system solutions. Mercedes-Benz Vans is focusing not only on the vehicle itself, but also far beyond on the entire value chain and its customers’ overall business. In addition to digitization, automation and robotics in vans, the program also includes innovative mobility services.

With the services offered by Mercedes-Benz Vans Mobility GmbH, customers will be able to use vehicles without actually owning them, for example. These solutions are interesting for logistics companies on days with high volumes of orders. They will then be able to temporarily increase their vehicle fleet. The services offered by Mercedes-Benz Vans Mobility GmbH are tailored around the complete model range of the van division and are supplemented by numerous individual equipment and body solutions for all sectors. The launch of the first products will begin in Germany in mid-2017. The new company will operate under the roof of Daimler Financial Services (DFS). It has its headquarters in Berlin and will employ 40 people by the end of the year.

adVANce in the Sprinter: part of the “internet of things” in the future

Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz Vans will launch the next generation of the Sprinter. It stands for great versatility, offering customers highly efficient and reliable transport solutions. With the next generation, Mercedes-Benz Vans intends to redefine this aspiration – driven by adVANce. In the future, the large van will be fully connected.

The lead plant of worldwide Sprinter production in Düsseldorf and the other Sprinter plant in Germany in Ludwigsfelde are making intensive preparations for the market launch of the next generation. Numerous measures for modification and modernization were started some time ago. Mercedes-Benz Vans is the only manufacturer in the large-van segment that continues to produce in Germany.

The construction of the new Sprinter plant in North Charleston in South Carolina, USA, is continuing this year. Mercedes-Benz Vans is investing a total of approximately half a billion US dollars in the new plant, which constitutes an expansion of the existing assembly facility, and will create up to 1,300 jobs there. With full production of Sprinter vans in the USA, customers in the North American growth market are to be supplied with the next generation more individually, faster and more economically.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class to be launched in Europe in late 2017

Mercedes-Benz Vans is making substantial investments to prepare for the launch of the X-Class, the world’s first premium pickup. By the time of the market launch, the division will have invested a high nine-digit euro amount. Mercedes-Benz Vans will first launch the X-Class in Europe in late 2017. Other key markets such as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Brazil will follow as of 2018. The X-Class will be the Mercedes among pickups with design features typical of the brand as well as high levels of comfort, driving dynamics and safety.

It is being produced in cooperation with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Production will start for European markets this year at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain. That will later be followed by production for Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. After that, production will start for the Latin American market at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina.

PHOTO: Mercedes-Benz Vans is making use of this strong position and will invest in total more than two billion euros in 2017 and 2018 in the expansion and renewal of its product portfolio and for new services.

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