Starting in January 2010, the Dodge Sprinter will be replaced by . . . the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
The return of the Sprinter under its original nameplate coincides with the creation of Daimler Vans USA, LLC, based in New Jersey, and effectively terminates Chrysler's arrangement to sell rebadged versions under the Dodge brand.
It doesn't appear any substantial changes will be made to the Sprinter lineup, which, in the U.S. and Canada, comes in three lengths, two wheelbases, and two roof heights. All models -- cargo vans, passenger vans, and chassis cab models -- are powered by a 3.0L V-6 turbodiesel. Mercedes will also take control of the rebadged vehicle's sales, marketing, distribution, and service.
Since the Sprinter went on sale in North America, 130,000 have been sold, though sales of the Dodge-branded van are down 56% through the first eight months of the year.
Recently, it was reported that Chrysler is suing Daimler for its apparent refusal to ship parts crucial to production of models like the Dodge Challenger and Charger. We'll have the latest on that suit as it progresses. For now, tell us: would you be any more likely to buy a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter than a Dodge Sprinter for your business?