Mercedes-Benz Unveils Newest Sprinter

2019 Mercedes Sprinter: Well-Connected
Officials from Mercedes-Benz, Amazon.com and the South Carolina city of North Charleston, were on hand for the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz Vans production facility. (Photos: Thomas Ethier)

The newest itineration of the Sprinter was launched with much pomp and ceremony during the inauguration of the new production facility located in North Charleston, South Carolina.

The gigantic one million sq ft manufacturing facility expansion, built at a cost of $500 million USD, was a big deal in the South Carolina media, as the Sprinter is now being built in North America.

The Sprinter’s impact in the North American fleet market may very well, according to company officials, begin a revolution that transcends the actual physical limitations of the vehicle. The 2019 Sprinter will allow companies of all shapes and sizes to benefit from an advanced connectivity solution that will help them better manage their resources.

Developed in collaboration with Amazon.com, which has already placed an order for 20,000 Sprinter vans, the modular, scalable technology can be adapted to meet the wide range of needs of the North-American fleet market.

“Not only is it a van, it’s a digital tool,” said Mercedes-Benz Vans President and CEO, Michael Balke. “Today’s customers require comprehensive solutions that go beyond the simple vehicle. We now offer a powerful tool to help manage their businesses.”

One for all

Although the product rollout as well as the technology are big deals, this cutting-edge solution is also tailored for much smaller fleets. As Benedikt Rebmann, Mercedes-Benz Canada Product Manager Canada explained, this is a great opportunity for companies to jump-start their connectivity initiatives.

“Through the acquisition of a 2019 Sprinter, fleet companies of all shapes and sizes are also accessing a complete connectivity solution. The vehicles can easily be hooked up to the Internet and generate all kinds of useful fleet management data. This flexibility can make a huge difference for businesses that, up until now, didn’t have the critical mass required to justify the expenditure associated with the implementation of a digital management solution.”

Mercedes PRO connect 

The Mercedes PRO connect web-based platform opens up a world of relevant, real-time information and data that can be used by both drivers and administrators to manage company activities, while making their jobs easier.

On the management front, not only do users have access to specific details such as vehicle condition, location, fuel levels, engine oil and brake condition and destination updates, among others. They can also access real-time information as specific as locked doors and lowered windows, including the ability to communicate with drivers at all times.

Larger fleets will be able to leverage useful databases to help manage their activities.

As for drivers, they have access to a useful app detailing the work to be performed, including the ability to communicate relevant information to supervisors at all times.

A detailed report is generated from all this data, including driver name for each journey, average daily usage in kilometres, and much more. This data  can be harvested to generate statistical analysis reports to help maximize operations and resources.

As for versatility, the 2019 Sprinter can be configured in over 1700 different ways, making it perfectly adaptable for virtually any type of business. “While the available options list on our latest models was extensive, the 2019 Sprint takes this to a whole new level, as the expanded options offering allows users to customize the van to their specific needs, whether it be cargo configurations or even instrument panel layouts,” added  Rebmann.

While Canadian 2019 Sprint operators may have to wait until 2020 to benefit from the Mercedes PRO connect web-based platform, the 2019 Sprint is available in our market. Businesses can acquire them now and activate the connectivity platform as soon as it is launched in Canada.

Here is a summary of this important North-American launch:

Members of the Canadian media tested the 2019 Sprinter on stunning seaside roads down in North Charleston, South Carolina.
This Sprinter, wearing the full Amazon.com colour scheme and logos, kicked off the presentation, which took place in front of a packed house.
Employees, business partners and media types were invited for the new product launch as well as the official inauguration of the new Sprinter van production facility.
Mercedes-Benz Vans President and CEO, Michael Balke
Amazon.com Senior Vice-President Worldwide Operations, Dave Clark
Mercedes-Benz Vans President & CEO, Michael Balke; Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Vans, South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster and Amazon.com Senior Vice-President Worldwide Operations, Dave Clark
A rare sampling of the very limited product photo opportunities available to the media.
The area of the production facility where the Sprinter side panels are assembled.
Built at a cost of $500 million USD, the new Mercedes Vans production facility has increased the size of the existing production area by over one million sq ft.
A brief introduction of the Mercedes PRO connect platform, which includes a driver component (right) as well as a management component (left).
Canadian models will be delivered with a 3.0 litre, 6-cylinder diesel engine. An optional 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder gasoline engine will also be available as of 2018.

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