Sales begin this summer for a 16-seater van from Daimler Vans USA's Sprinter model line. The van is intended to be used for hotel shuttle service, paratransit and other applications. Interested parties may now order directly from a Mercedes-Benz or Freightliner dealership that carries the Sprinter lineup.
Pricing information has yet to be announced but according to Dan Barile, a Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman, Daimler offers four different interior configurations, including a model with a wheelchair lift that can carry up to 8 passengers.
The Sprinter is a full-sized, heavy-duty van that is available in 2500 and 3500 models. Daimler Vans USA's plant in Ladson, S.C. will assemble the semi-knockdown kits as well as cargo, chassis cab and 12-passenger passenger vans.
Daimler Buses North America, Greensboro, N.C., handles the shuttle van conversion. The shuttle van is offered in four 15- and 16-passenger configurations, plus driver. In place of a sliding door, the van has electrically operated split passenger doors.
Barile said that this setup does away with having to talk to a separate conversion company. He said that the one-stop shopping offered by Mercedes and Freightliner dealers is an advantage. Powering the car is a 188-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V-6, with 325 pounds feet of torque.
Selected Mercedes-Benz dealers started selling cargo, chassis cab and passenger van Sprinter models on January 1.
It should be noted that Daimler ended contracts with almost 350 Dodge dealers last year. The van has been sold by selected Freightliner dealers since 2001. Daimler Vans is a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz USA.