Daimler to increase the number of dealerships selling vans in the U.S.

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2012

The number of Daimler Vans dealerships in the U.S. that offer the Sprinter commercial van will increase by up to 27%, to 250 dealers, according to Claus Tritt, the vice president of Daimler Vans USA. He said during an interview that the company doesn’t want to overdeal. He added that the company hopes to have dealers in the ”right places and the right markets,” which have customers that have a requirement.

It was in 2010 that the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was launched by the U.S. commercial van unit of Daimler AG. Dodge sold the van for a period from 2003 to 2009. Freightliner had also sold the van since 2001. Tritt added that in the U.S., 197 Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner dealers offer the Sprinter.

He explained that Daimler hopes to increase this number to between 230 and 250. No timetable was given for the target. Tritt said that after a recent move by the company to give customer experience a boost, Daimler hopes to guarantee that Sprinter dealers know how to manage commercial customers.

He said that the company seeks to give them training and to get them prepared before they face customers. He clarified though that it’s a process and so it can’t be achieved overnight.

Since Sprinter is a separate franchise from Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and Freightliner, its dealers would have to meet specific requirements. Aside from conducting a training for staff to sell and service the Sprinter model, the dealers should have a salesperson and a display area solely for the Sprinter, whether this area is a isolated showroom area, a stand-alone showroom or located outdoors.

In servicing the Sprinter, dealer service operations should have two Sprinter-trained technicians, two vehicle lifts and an alignment rack. He said that to accommodate the Sprinter, the dealerships will have to raise ceilings or make their entryways bigger.

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