DaimlerChrysler Vans LLC announced plans in December to market a new commercial van in the United States. The "Sprinter," a Class 2 and 3 light commercial vehicle, will be marketed under the Freightliner brand and powered by a Mercedes-Benz engine. The van is manufactured in Dusseldorf, Germany, with a final assembly done in Gaffney, S.C.

The van has been available in Europe for the past five years, and the company says it's one of the most successful models of its commercial vehicle division. During the first three-quarters of last year, more than 105,000 Sprinters were sold worldwide.

"The Sprinter was designed specifically for commercial use," says Tim A. Reuss, president and CEO of DaimlerChrysler Vans LLC. "Most of these vehicles are designed for cargo [and service vehicles] rather than for the people who have to easily get in and out the vehicle all day. And engines tend to be designed for power, not efficiency."

DaimlerChrysler Vans LLC was founded last June and has been setting up the dealer network and developing sales, marketing and aftermarket support for the line. At a press event in December, company executives said they currently have 48 dealers established throughout the country, and plan to have 260 dealers signed up by the end of this year. The headquarters for the subsidiary is located in Charlotte, N.C.

For more information, visit www.media.daimlerchrysler.com.