Mercedes-Benz Vans USA is introducing the "Mercedes-Benz Metris" at the NTEA Work Truck Show. This follows the "Mission: Metris" teaser campaign at SEMA in Las Vegas in November 2014, which featured four custom upfitted Metris concept vans. The Metris, which launches at U.S. dealers in October 2015, is the U.S. and Canadian sibling to the "Vito," which remains the midsize commercial van nameplate for all other global markets.
"We are pleased to debut the Mercedes-Benz Metris at NTEA, which is a major step in launching our midsize commercial van in the U.S. market in October 2015," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. "It is only logical that we adopt the global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA 'Mission: Metris' presence with four distinctive van concepts was an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate 'Mercedes-Benz Metris' and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety. And now, we can't wait to offer our customers and upfitters both the Sprinter and Metris Vans as a full-line vans brand: Mercedes-Benz Vans."
The Metris is a right-sized vehicle: It is larger than the small vans and smaller than the large vans. Its value proposition includes superior craftsmanship, high cargo/towing capacity, and an attractive price. It is designed to thrive in large metropolitan areas with an agile yet spacious presence. The Cargo Van starts at $28,950, and the Passenger Van starts at $32,500 (excluding $995 destination/delivery charge for both vans). Because all Mercedes-Benz Vans feature the advantages of top service at dealerships, top levels of safety and ergonomics, and exemplary Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), the Metris shines in all areas. It can easily fit into a parking garage in a large metropolitan area, and can also meet the needs of those who work out of their homes. In addition, it carries many of the rugged characteristics of the Sprinter.
Upon launching in October 2015 at the 200+ Mercedes-Benz U.S. dealers authorized to sell Vans, the Metris will be available with a powerful and highly efficient 4-cylinder gasoline engine that has 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, mated to a refined, efficient, and robust 7-speed automatic transmission with rear-wheel drive. This powertrain application, with optional ECO start/stop, was developed specifically for the U.S. and Canadian markets to meet the needs of the Mid-Size Commercial Van Segment, and also comes with a service interval of up to 15,000 miles.
Advanced safety features are a hallmark for any Mercedes-Benz vehicle, and the Metris will feature 6 airbags for the Cargo Van variant and 8 airbags for the Passenger Van variant. All models will feature standard ATTENTION ASSIST, standard Crosswind Assist, and standard load-adaptive ESP. Optional safety features will include Active Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, PARKTRONIC, Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, and a rearview camera. Many of the interior features are taken from other recent automotive entrants into the Mercedes-Benz lineup, such as premium touches and overall fit-and-finish. Large cupholders have also been added to the center console on the dashboard to meet North American customer needs of long-haul or local driving.
In the U.S. full-size commercial van segment, sales of the Sprinter continue to be brisk, up 17.4% YTD. Model year 2014 brought new major enhancements such as a fresh and confident new front end exterior design, 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain that already plays a similar role as its big brother, the V6, and upgrades of safety and infotainment.
Model year 2015 saw many additional enhancements for the Sprinter including:
- Addition of standard Crosswind Assist on all 2500 models.
- Increased service intervals of up to 20,000 miles (MY 2014 service intervals were up to 15,000 miles).
- Optional Sprinter 4x4 version of both Cargo Van and Passenger Van versions will also be added in Q1/2015, which will be the only ex-factory four-wheel drive system on the market for a commercial van in the USA.
- Addition of a third roof option. The new super high roof underlines the benchmark position concerning interior heights by offering an interior roof height of up to 7 feet.
- SULEV option for our standard 4-cylinder BlueTEC engine is the first SULEV diesel engine worldwide and underlines our 'Green Leadership.'
- A Super Single heavy duty package variant is being introduced in early 2015, which is an alternative to the 3500 dually rear wheel setup that allows for a 48.3 in. loading width between wheels.
All of these features highlight the position of the Sprinter as the most innovative large van in the segment. Independent from the model year, over 75% of all Sprinters have upfitter treatment on them, regardless of extra shelving or extensive Recreational Vehicle modifications.
To coincide with the launch of the new Metris midsize commercial van, this year the Daimler Vans USA team is pleased to announce that they will be rolling out a new and improved Upfitter Program in the coming months. Upfitters play a crucial role in meeting the vast array of customer requirements, and the planned enhancements to this already highly successful initiative will help maximize the full potential in the U.S. market.