Daimler AG forecasts that sales of its commercial vans in the U.S. this year will match 2009 deliveries after distribution was shifted to luxury retailers from Dodge dealers.
According to Autodata Corp., a Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based researcher, Sprinter's U.S. sales through November 2010 at Mercedes and Freightliner dealerships fell a combined 8.1 percent, compared with the same period last year at Dodge and Freightliner stores.
Mercedes dealers in the U.S. sold 3,917 Sprinter vans during the first 11 months while deliveries by Freightliner outlets more than tripled to 3,263.
A year earlier, more than 300 Dodge dealers accounted for 87 percent of the 7,817 sold. Mercedes, which is part of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler, said 8,353 Sprinter vans were sold last year through Dodge and Freightliner stores in the U.S.
Claus Tritt, Mercedes commercial vans general manager, oversaw the transition of moving Sprinter sales to Mercedes dealers from the Dodge outlets that had sold the trucks since 2003.
The Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands were part of DaimlerChrysler AG until it sold Chrysler Group in 2007. Fiat S.p.A. took control of Chrysler last year and split off Ram trucks as a brand separate from Dodge. [via autonews - sub. required]