As expected Mercedes-Benz Vans sold more vehicles than ever before in fiscal year 2015, with the figure exceeding 300,000 vans for the first time. Based on initial data from December, Daimler’s van division sold around 321,000 vehicles worldwide last year (prior year: 294,600). This figure represented a nine-percent increase in unit sales and a new record for the division. One key factor behind this positive development was the rising number of fleet orders in strategic growth markets, both within and outside Europe. The final figures for the division will be published at Daimler AG’s annual press conference on 4 February 2016.
Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans: “The record sales figure achieved by Mercedes-Benz Vans shows that our global strategy is taking effect and that we have a very attractive product portfolio. The record unit sales are thanks to the outstanding performance of our employees worldwide, who can be very proud of what they have achieved.”
Sprinter achieves new record in landmark year
2015 was also the most successful year of all time for the Sprinter. In the year of its 20th birthday, sales of the world van rose by over four percent to around 194,200 vehicles (prior year: 186,300). In 1995 the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter established and gave its name to the large van segment and it has shaped it ever since. Sprinter vans are now on the road in over 130 countries, with well in excess of 2.9 million vehicles sold to date, making the Sprinter one of the most successful commercial vehicles of all time and a best-seller in the Daimler product portfolio.
Mercedes-Benz Vans will continue on the Sprinter’s successful course this year: back in spring 2015, Mercedes-Benz Vans announced that it would be establishing a new production site for the Sprinter at Charleston in the US state of South Carolina. From here, Mercedes-Benz Vans will be able to supply its customers in North America with the next-generation Sprinter even more effectively and quickly. To this end, Mercedes-Benz Vans will be investing around half a billion US dollars in the development of the new van plant in the coming years. Construction is scheduled to commence in 2016. Demand for the Sprinter among US customers is rising all the time: around 28,600 Sprinter vehicles were delivered to customers in the USA in 2015, eleven percent more than in the previous year (25,800).
As the only manufacturer in the large van segment to do so, Mercedes-Benz Vans will also continue producing the next-generation Sprinter in Germany – at its Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde sites. To this end, the division will be investing 450 million euros in the modernisation of both German plants. Over and above this, Düsseldorf will play even more of a central role in the Mercedes-Benz Vans global production network as a centre of competence for worldwide Sprinter production. Chassis cabs and pickups will continue to be produced at the Ludwigsfelde site, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary as a Mercedes-Benz plant at the start of February 2016. Capacity utilisation was exceptionally high at both German plants in 2015 on account of the healthy demand. To keep pace with this demand, the sites have introduced special shifts and Saturday working.
Mercedes-Benz Vito becomes second world van
With the Vito medium-size van, too, Mercedes-Benz Vans opened up numerous new markets in 2015, further increasing unit sales on a consistent basis. Following its introduction in Europe and in other global markets since 2014, the Vito has also been available in Latin America and the USA – where it is known as the Metris – since 2015. With its attractive design and wide choice of variants, the new vehicle sets the standard in its segment. The Vito/Metris has enjoyed high demand in both regions right from the start and achieved high growth rates. Worldwide unit sales of the Vito rose 23 percent to over 74,400 vehicles last year (prior year: 60,300). The new Vito is now available in over 65 markets.
Citan urban delivery van with numerous new features
Mercedes-Benz Vans made extensive changes to the Citan in 2015. One of the main new features is progression to the Euro 6 emissions standard. Since the middle of last year, all Mercedes-Benz Citan vehicles registered as passenger cars have met these emissions requirements. Citan vans registered as commercial vehicles have also been available with Euro 6 as an option since then – long before this emissions standard officially comes into force. Moreover, Mercedes-Benz Vans introduced new special equipment in autumn to further increase the Citan’s individualisation options and therefore its appeal to customers. Sales of the urban delivery van reached around 21,700 vehicles in 2015, more or less on a par with the prior year’s figure (22,100).
New sales record for the V-Class
The new V-Class achieved significant growth in the private-use sector in its first full year of sales. Total sales in 2015 rose 20 percent to around 30,700 vehicles (prior year: 25,600) – likewise a new record. The MPV is now already available in approx. 90 markets. The V-Class has also been available in Japan since January 2016 – an important next step in the opening-up of further key right-hand-drive markets following the launch of the V-Class in the UK in 2015. As of spring 2016, the V-Class will also be available in China, the United Arab Emirates and other markets in the Middle East, for example.
Increase in large orders from all over the world
One of the central growth drivers in the past year was the fleet business and an increasing number of large orders from strategic growth markets also outside of Europe. Vehicle rental company Sixt, for instance, recently augmented its vehicle fleet in the USA by ordering 700 new Mercedes-Benz vans as part of its strategy for expansion in the US market. This large order comprises 200 Sprinter models and 500 Metris models, making Sixt one of the first key-account customers for the Metris in the USA.
Mercedes-Benz Vans has also secured large orders from key-account fleet customers in its home market of Germany, the latest example of which is RWE subsidiary Westnetz, which in 2015 ordered Mercedes-Benz vans for the first time – a total of around 100 Sprinter, Vito and Citan models – to develop and maintain electricity and gas networks in the west of Germany. Shortly before this, Mercedes-Benz Vans supplied travel and public-transport specialist Schlienz-Tours with over 60 Sprinter and Vito vehicles for transporting around 350 handicapped children who attend the Rohräcker school in Esslingen.
Source: Daimler AG