With the unveiling of the Sprinter large-size van in 1995, Mercedes-Benz large sized vehicle presented an ultramodern van that was ideal for the logistics challenges. At a time where the transition to e-commerce and the dimension of online trade was still a fragment of the imagination, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter became a key part in this transition for many businesses globally.
With over 4 million units sold and a presence in over 130 countries worldwide, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter’s success and impact in this fast-changing business world is clear to see. Lending its name to its vehicle segment, the term “Sprinter Class” has long been used to identify large sized vehicles in the lightweight division.
In the Nigerian market where the Sprinter is available exclusively courtesy of Weststar Associates Limited, Authorized General Distributor of Mercedes-Benz, the Sprinter has become top of the mind for passenger transport and logistics for many businesses.
In 2006, Mercedes-Benz introduced the second generation of the Sprinter, customers were now able to access a tailor-made solution for practically any requirement. This was possible via the Bodybuilder Portal, which provides all the information required for realizing customer requests.
Power-trains were further optimised with a new range of engines and a new 6-speed transmission for diesel variants. There was also an improved brake system, Adaptive ESP, with extended functions for all tonnages and a revised stowage concept in the vehicle interior. New features also included the wide-base tyres at the rear axle for the 4.6-tonne variant, the bi-xenon headlamps with static cornering and curve lights, a thorax bag for the driver and co-driver, as well as the Parktronic system and much more.
With an efficient drive-train and numerous innovations, the further-developed Sprinter from 2013 maintained market leadership among the competition. The contributing factors included, among other things, an efficiency package with ECO steering assistance pump, the ECO start/stop function and a long rear-axle ratio.
The Sprinter was now the first van to be equipped as standard with Crosswind Assist. While Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Collision Prevention Assist are just some of the features also available.
By 2018, the third generation of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was unveiled, embodying the Mercedes-Benz Vans adVANce philosophy from 2016 as a provider of comprehensive mobility solutions. It combines progressive design with comfort and safety features only usually seen in passenger cars.
The extensive networking with the internet is revolutionary: the Mercedes PRO connect services and the multimedia system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) are setting the points in the direction of the future and creating new possibilities for managing a large fleet and for small businesses alike.
From the outset, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has positioned itself as truly multi-purpose: it is available as a chassis, platform vehicle or tipper vehicle, with a crew cab or a single cab respectively, as a panel van and as a crew bus with five to up thirteen seats, with a low or high roof.
Commenting on the success of the Sprinter as it marks its Silver Jubilee, MD/CEO, Weststar Associates Limited, Mr. Mirko Plath, remarked, “The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is one of our most successful vehicles here in Nigeria, many businesses continue to trust in the Sprinter to take care of their transportation and logistics needs. The story of Weststar would definitely be incomplete without the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and for this reason we celebrate this brand here in Nigeria as we look forward to more success with a van with the Mercedes star”.
Plath said Sprinter is the frontline brand for Mercedes-Benz Vans and is renowned for being the go-to brand in the size segment of vans between 3.0 and 5.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight.