Mercedes-Benz to Unveil Midsize Van in the US

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Mercedes-Benz Vans is slated to introduce the Metris midsize van to the U.S. market at The Work Truck Show in March, host organization NTEA announced.

The Metris will join the manufacturer’s larger Sprinter in competing for U.S. commercial buyers in an increasingly crowded marketplace. It arrives on the heels of new products from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Co., among others, arriving on U.S. shores.

The Metris is sold as the Mercedes-Benz Vito in markets around the world. Parent company Daimler Trucks said at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hanover, Germany, in September that it planned to introduce the Vito in North America during 2015. The truck maker said that the van would carry a different name in the United States and Canada.

Volker Mornhinweg, head of the Mercedes-Benz van division, said at IAA that the van would be powered by a 4-cylinder gasoline engine with a rear-wheel-drive configuration. He said that sales of the van would begin with the 2016 model year.

The Metris follows the U.S. arrivals of European-sourced Ram ProMaster – which is based on the Fiat Doblo – and the Ford Transit van, which is sold globally under that name. Those vans were launched here during the 2014 model year.

“There is a major transformation going on in the large-van market in the United States,” Bernhard Glaser, head of the U.S. division of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said during the IAA show.

The small-van market also is growing, with the recent launches of the Ram ProMaster City, Nissan NV200, Chevrolet City Express and a redesigned Ford Transit Connect.

The introduction of the Mercedes-Benz Metris will be one of more than 100 new-product announcements slated for The Work Truck Show, scheduled for March 4-6 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

Tags: Mercedes-Benz automotive