The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is no stranger to fleet managers. In fact, more than 130,000 Sprinter vehicles have been sold in the U.S. and Canada since it was introduced in 2001.

What has changed is that Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC has assumed responsibility for the sales, marketing, distribution and service of Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner Sprinter commercial vehicles in the U.S. Daimler Vans USA, LLC, located in Montvale, N.J., a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, is handling Sprinter sales and service. The new unit combines the brand and technology of Mercedes-Benz with the commercial vehicle expertise of Freightliner. The Dodge Sprinter has been discontinued.

The Sprinter is manufactured in Germany and assembled in Charleston, S.C. In the U.S. and Canada, it is offered in three vehicle lengths on two wheelbases with three gross vehicle weight ratings. With a lineup of cargo vans, passenger vans and cab chassis models, it is available in two roof heights. It is powered by a 3.0-liter, V-6 BlueTEC turbo diesel engine. The Sprinter's engine marks the first-ever use in the commercial van market of a super-clean Diesel Exhaust Fluid system. Standard van equipment includes ADAPTIVE ESP, which is an electronic stability program that has additional sensors that take into consideration vehicle payload, reducing the risk of skidding and loss of control.

The van has established a firm commercial customer base of fleet managers and van buyers at governments and other organizations, who are looking for a versatile work vehicle powered by clean turbo diesel engines. "Sprinter is perfect for local government agencies with its fuel efficiency, cargo area and volume," said Andy Sayers, who sells the van at Alpharetta, Ga.-based RBM of Atlanta, a Sprinter and Mercedes-Benz dealer.

"The applications for the Sprinter cab chassis are endless," Sayers told "Service body, flat bed, ambulance, etc. We have upfitters than can configure most requests. Landscapers and grounds maintenance crews, for example, love the volume of the cargo vans with the ability to stand up inside the van."

The van is versatile, added Sayers. "We can configure shelving for the cargo vans that can suit different applications such as plumbers or electricians or heating and air conditioning installers."

The van's suggested retail price is approximately 6 percent lower than last year. The Sprinter cargo van starts at $35,995, while the cab chassis begins at $34,270, and pricing for the passenger van begins at $39,820. All prices exclude destination charges set at $980.

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