Mercedes-Benz to end VW agreement
In preparation for the introduction of the next generation of Sprinter models, Mercedes-Benz Vans intends to end its manufacturing agreement with Volkswagen AG in relation to large vans after the contract expires as scheduled at the end of 2016. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and VW Crafter ranges are used as the base for many minibus and minicoach conversions. From the commencement of the agreement with VW in 2005 to the end of 2012, the Mercedes-Benz plants in Ludwigsfelde and Dusseldorf, Germany have produced around 280,000 units for VW.
The Sprinter is the most successful model produced by Daimler’s van division, and the vehicle lends its name to an entire van segment. Around 150,000 Sprinters are currently built each year at plants in Germany, Argentina and China. It is also manufactured by partner company GAZ in Russia and assembled from CKD parts in the USA.
Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, Volker Mornhinweg, said, ‘Both partners had a benefit from the long lasting co-operation. 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.’