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    Mercedes-Benz Readies More Sprinter Models and Dealers For U.S.


    • Mercedes-Benz Has Some Big Plans For Their Sprinter Brand

    You could say the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is patient zero in the European Van invasion we are currently experiencing in the U.S. When it was introduced as the Dodge/Freightliner Sprinter back in the early 2000s, the vans became popular as they offered impressive space and fuel economy. Now with competitors such as the new Ram Promaster and upcoming Ford Transit featuring the recipe, Mercedes-Benz knows they have to be one step ahead.

    "The Sprinter is the benchmark and the norm of the Euro-style vans. There is a revolution happening in the segment and big changes coming that were caused by the Sprinter -- vans with a smaller footprint but big cargo volume," said Bernie Glaser, Mercedes-Benz USA vice president and managing director of the van unit for the U.S.

    To keep the Sprinter in the running with the new contenders, Mercedes-Benz has some plans in the works including a new four-wheel drive variant that will go on sale next year and the addition of 30 more dealers over the next five years. There is also talk of 12 passenger Sprinter model and the introduction of the new V-Class into the U.S.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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    There's certainly not a lot of distinction in this increasingly-crowded segment, but the question remains what the association with the luxury aspect of the badge being increasingly seen on one of the most elemental & spartan vehicle on the road will do over the long run to perceptions. Because there's nothing 'mercedes' WRT a sprinter van...

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    I think they should leave the V-class at home, at least for passenger duty, perhaps a cargo version for commercial applications could work since the Sprinter is huge. All wheel drive is a good idea for the snow belt. One thing that annoys me about the Sprinter is the V6 diesel is dated and sucks, 188 hp and 325 lb-ft and a 5-speed, when the 3.0 V6 in the cars has over 210 hp and over 400 lb-ft. A power upgrade and adding the 7-speed to the V6 would make sense.

    The "Mercedes" trait that the Sprinter has is engineering, build quality and longevity. The hauling companies will buy it because they know they can put over 300,000 miles on it, and the gas mileage is decent for a vehicle that size.

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    Have you looked at one up close? They're not built any better than the average cargo van. More to the point- it has a premium price but it reeks of cheapness.

    You can get 300K out of about anything with decent maintenance; that claim is no longer a distinction.
    Just today I heard the brother of my buddy say he had 320,000 on his Ford F-250 SD.

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    There's certainly not a lot of distinction in this increasingly-crowded segment, but the question remains what the association with the luxury aspect of the badge being increasingly seen on one of the most elemental & spartan vehicle on the road will do over the long run to perceptions. Because there's nothing 'mercedes' WRT a sprinter van...

    Offering spartan commercial vehicles has not tarnished the Mercedes-Benz nameplate here in Europe, so I really wouldn't expect it to do so in the US. People know the difference between a Sprinter van and an S-Class.

    Edited by ZL-1
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    MB Sprinters SUCK!

    My brother in law who runs his own appliance repair and installation business got one as everyone he talked to said they are awesome, long lasting cheap to drive vans.

    In the 100K miles he has owned it, the diesel has actually cost him more in fuel than a gas version probably would have. I am surprised how terrible these vans get for mileage. He has gone through 2 transmissions, Radio is dead, it died only a few thousand miles past warranty and MB was like you can pay us to put in a new one. He went to car toys and got a way better unit for a fraction of MB price.

    The cheap plastic interior is so bad, he has multiple doors he has just decided to duck tape to keep closed. His Ford Econo line Van and then the van before this which was a GM duramax diesel were way better.

    He has decided to drive it till the next major mechanic issue shows and then trade it in. He will NEVER BUY a MB product again.

    Over Priced

    Cheap Build Quality

    Terrible Service

    If this is what is to be expected out of the Euro Line of vans from everyone and this is considered the best van out there. America is in sad position to have GARBAGE Service vans.

    GM / FORD need to build their own for this market and not import garbage.

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    There's certainly not a lot of distinction in this increasingly-crowded segment, but the question remains what the association with the luxury aspect of the badge being increasingly seen on one of the most elemental & spartan vehicle on the road will do over the long run to perceptions. Because there's nothing 'mercedes' WRT a sprinter van...

    Offering spartan commercial vehicles has not tarnished the Mercedes-Benz nameplate here in Europe, so I really wouldn't expect it to do so in the US.

    The images of the brand differ a great deal from there to here from what I've seen.

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    I think they should leave the V-class at home, at least for passenger duty, perhaps a cargo version for commercial applications could work since the Sprinter is huge. All wheel drive is a good idea for the snow belt. One thing that annoys me about the Sprinter is the V6 diesel is dated and sucks, 188 hp and 325 lb-ft and a 5-speed, when the 3.0 V6 in the cars has over 210 hp and over 400 lb-ft. A power upgrade and adding the 7-speed to the V6 would make sense.

    The "Mercedes" trait that the Sprinter has is engineering, build quality and longevity. The hauling companies will buy it because they know they can put over 300,000 miles on it, and the gas mileage is decent for a vehicle that size.

    Have you actually seen Sprinters in our area? They rust like an '80s Toyota...

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    Nothing rusts like an 80s Toyota, lol, I don't think there are even any 90s Toyotas that aren't rusted out. Heck, I have seen Toyotas from the 2000s with rust all over them.

    I don't think people that buy a Mercedes car, care at all that they sell commercial vans or trucks, if they like the car they will buy the car. It obviously doesn't matter in Europe, where Mercedes does quite well, and they do quite well here too. I think any other luxury brand would trade to be in Mercedes position with maybe the exception of BMW since their sales levels are about the same and they have a younger customer base.

    The Euro van is the new wave, I think the Transit will do well, GM's offerings in the commercial segment are going to look really dated really soon unless they rethink their vans. The Sprinter is expensive, so it will never be a volume threat to Ford, GM or Ram.

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    where is GM with any new product in any of these commercial segments?

    Well, they do have the Nissan based Chevy City Express...which is a really cheap ass way of doing things, the kind of crap GM did 40 years ago w/ Isuzu's cruddy little LUV pickup (I remember how quickly those rusted out in Ohio back in the day). They Express is still soldiering on, as ancient as it is..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    I loved my LUV truck, never had a rust problem. My dad bought it new in 1975, a 76 model Series 5 Luv Truck for $1750.00. He then gave it to me as a project truck in Highschool and bought himself a new one. I totally restored it and rebuilt everything on it and it still is around, sold to a lady engineer who loved the truck. While not in the shap I had it in, she still drives it. Those Isuzu motors last.

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    I loved my LUV truck, never had a rust problem. My dad bought it new in 1975, a 76 model Series 5 Luv Truck for $1750.00. He then gave it to me as a project truck in Highschool and bought himself a new one. I totally restored it and rebuilt everything on it and it still is around, sold to a lady engineer who loved the truck. While not in the shap I had it in, she still drives it. Those Isuzu motors last.

    No road salt in Wa, I guess...IIRC, there were very few of them left on the road in Ohio by the late '80s...typical '70s Japanese vehicles that rusted out very quickly. IIRC new ones were rusting on the lots in Florida..GM had to crush hundreds of them back around '82 when the S10 came out...

    (but I'll admit I've never liked compact pickups--found must of them to be cheap, noisy and cramped).

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    Ironically, I saw a Freightliner Sprinter today, that someone had zip-tied a MB logo over the grille. Classy.
    The theory that a vast quantity of people aren't buying MBs, either cars or commercial vans, because of the brand name is a weak one.

    As far as 'being mercedes', that's poses an interesting question. I do recall reading the same opinion when GM was well over a 30% marketshare and fleeting like a whoremaster, that 'GM is doing pretty well'... and everybody just nodding their heads along. MB is first & foremost a fleet vehicle seller in Europe, and they are bringing their 'low-hanging fruit' to this market next, and dumping their top end. Will be interesting to watch.

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    There's certainly not a lot of distinction in this increasingly-crowded segment, but the question remains what the association with the luxury aspect of the badge being increasingly seen on one of the most elemental & spartan vehicle on the road will do over the long run to perceptions. Because there's nothing 'mercedes' WRT a sprinter van...

    Offering spartan commercial vehicles has not tarnished the Mercedes-Benz nameplate here in Europe, so I really wouldn't expect it to do so in the US.

    The images of the brand differ a great deal from there to here from what I've seen.

    MB's image in the US is one of snobbery, to put it in a very politically incorrect way. Over here the image is of a top-of-the-line car maker that also makes other products such as commercial vehicles (which it has for decades, BTW). The fact that the company produces delivery trucks under the Mercedes-Benz name has never stood in the way of the company's other cars being regarded as top-of-the-line.

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    Nothing rusts like an 80s Toyota, lol, I don't think there are even any 90s Toyotas that aren't rusted out. Heck, I have seen Toyotas from the 2000s with rust all over them.

    I don't think people that buy a Mercedes car, care at all that they sell commercial vans or trucks, if they like the car they will buy the car. It obviously doesn't matter in Europe, where Mercedes does quite well, and they do quite well here too. I think any other luxury brand would trade to be in Mercedes position with maybe the exception of BMW since their sales levels are about the same and they have a younger customer base.

    The Euro van is the new wave, I think the Transit will do well, GM's offerings in the commercial segment are going to look really dated really soon unless they rethink their vans. The Sprinter is expensive, so it will never be a volume threat to Ford, GM or Ram.

    I will be interesting, soon the only manufacturers of what we think of as the "traditional" work van will be GM and .... Nissan.

    But no.. the Sprinters have severe rust problems compared to the domestic 2.

    I don't know how the Pro-Masters will hold up rust wise, but they do provide a compelling case against the Sprinter, GMs and Nissan because they have a substantially lower load floor and they have powertrain options that the others don't have (both gas V6 or diesel power) and the V6 has much more power than the old 4.3 in the GMs.

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    I loved my LUV truck, never had a rust problem. My dad bought it new in 1975, a 76 model Series 5 Luv Truck for $1750.00. He then gave it to me as a project truck in Highschool and bought himself a new one. I totally restored it and rebuilt everything on it and it still is around, sold to a lady engineer who loved the truck. While not in the shap I had it in, she still drives it. Those Isuzu motors last.

    No road salt in Wa, I guess...IIRC, there were very few of them left on the road in Ohio by the late '80s...typical '70s Japanese vehicles that rusted out very quickly. IIRC new ones were rusting on the lots in Florida..GM had to crush hundreds of them back around '82 when the S10 came out...

    (but I'll admit I've never liked compact pickups--found must of them to be cheap, noisy and cramped).

    TRUE, Road Salt is bad for the environment, they use a biodegradable liquid spray for frozen roads and snow. That is one thing to say that I rarely find rusted out auto's here. If they are, they usually came in from a Midwest or East coast state.

    Ironically, I saw a Freightliner Sprinter today, that someone had zip-tied a MB logo over the grille. Classy.

    The theory that a vast quantity of people aren't buying MBs, either cars or commercial vans, because of the brand name is a weak one.

    As far as 'being mercedes', that's poses an interesting question. I do recall reading the same opinion when GM was well over a 30% marketshare and fleeting like a whoremaster, that 'GM is doing pretty well'... and everybody just nodding their heads along. MB is first & foremost a fleet vehicle seller in Europe, and they are bringing their 'low-hanging fruit' to this market next, and dumping their top end. Will be interesting to watch.

    Makes me think that MB could be in the same position that GM was in the late 90's early 2000's and end up needing to totally reboot the company and jettison lines.

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    Balthy... my buddy's 2007 E-350 has 375K on it and it runs strong as hell... it constantly gets runs grossly overloaded.

    A Sprinter will never live up to that.

    I thought GM already has decided to phase out the Express/Savanna and replace it with a wimpy Eurovan... that leaves Nissan with the only heavy duty old school work van. And I've heard good things about them.

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    There's certainly not a lot of distinction in this increasingly-crowded segment, but the question remains what the association with the luxury aspect of the badge being increasingly seen on one of the most elemental & spartan vehicle on the road will do over the long run to perceptions. Because there's nothing 'mercedes' WRT a sprinter van...

    Offering spartan commercial vehicles has not tarnished the Mercedes-Benz nameplate here in Europe, so I really wouldn't expect it to do so in the US.

    The images of the brand differ a great deal from there to here from what I've seen.

    MB's image in the US is one of snobbery, to put it in a very politically incorrect way. Over here the image is of a top-of-the-line car maker that also makes other products such as commercial vehicles (which it has for decades, BTW). The fact that the company produces delivery trucks under the Mercedes-Benz name has never stood in the way of the company's other cars being regarded as top-of-the-line.

    May be Europe is an exception than rule, because almost every other part of the world thinks MB as a snob badge. Just ask an Indian or a Chinese or a Kenyan and snobs throb to MB. Europeans may be have accustomed of having two different flavors of vanilla.

    The perception MB portays in US is that not of a vanilla but of triple chocolate strawberry with banana bits mashed in pineapple and complete with Acai berry. Of course when a mediocre van comes into picture those high standars wll be doubted. SMK hardly bought the car because it was bulletproof but because it was his favorite brand which reeks luxury.

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    May be Europe is an exception than rule, because almost every other part of the world thinks MB as a snob badge. Just ask an Indian or a Chinese or a Kenyan and snobs throb to MB. Europeans may be have accustomed of having two different flavors of vanilla.

    The perception MB portays in US is that not of a vanilla but of triple chocolate strawberry with banana bits mashed in pineapple and complete with Acai berry. Of course when a mediocre van comes into picture those high standars wll be doubted. SMK hardly bought the car because it was bulletproof but because it was his favorite brand which reeks luxury.

    But that is where I have to totally Disagree with SMK and most people. Other than the M Series from BMW and the AMG series from MB, I do not think their normal car line REEKS of LUXURY!

    This goes with SMK's E series, Nice Car but nothing special other than the badge on the hood. The interior is not impressive and does not have a quality build IMHO.

    The wife always told me I never do seem to get hung up in the marketing message as I feel this way about cloths and other items of so called Luxury. People are so concerned with a name badge that they forget that just because it has built a marketing image one way does not mean it really is that.

    Sprinter is a perfect example of over priced plastic garbage with Terrible customer service and yet they sell them on the MB lots at outrageous prices.

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      But the engineers have gone one step further: for example, "Generation EQ" is equipped with Car-to-X technology and can exchange information with the infrastructure and other vehicles – an ideal basis for a series of new driver assistance features that build on existing systems and thus take a further step in the direction of accident prevention. It is also helpful for the driver to be informed about nearby recharging opportunities. As soon as "Generation EQ" realises that the destination cannot be reached on the available battery charge, it advises the driver of appropriate options on the navigation map.
      3D real-time map display from HERE
      Yet the digital interface can do considerably more: another highlight is the high- detail 3D city view with its trendsetting design. Technically, it is based on the map platform from HERE. This makes it possible, for example when searching for points of interest, for restaurants, shopping opportunities and tourist attractions to be especially highlighted. Other buildings recede elegantly into the background. A further focus in the design of the new HERE maps lies in reduced visual complexity while the vehicle is in motion. This means that the driver can see only those buildings and information that are relevant for navigation. There is an exceptional interplay between cockpit and map, with the buildings on the map reflecting details of the instrument lighting. At the same time, the map display also gives a preview of new features, especially for electric vehicles: the driver is provided with information on charging stations as well as opportunities for inductive charging along the route. The high-detail display also includes an indication of the current energy consumption along the route.
      Intelligent driver assistance
      The focus of the user interface is on optimal driver assistance, such as when the main concern is to make best possible use of the available energy in the batteries in order to achieve the best possible range. The innovative consumption display provides the driver with feedback on their driving style while drawing attention to energy-saving  possibilities.
      Additional driver incentives are conceivable: the wide-screen display can be used to tell the driver that the current range is not just sufficient to reach the desired destination, but would also allow a detour for a spur-of-the-moment visit to friends. In addition, the driver can collect bonus kilometres as a reward for especially efficient use of the traction battery – a functionality similar to the one already familiar from current models. The trick is that the collected bonus kilometres make the occupants aware of the attractions or interesting places they can reach from the current location thanks to their driving style.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The future at Mercedes-Benz is electric if the Generation EQ is any indication. This electric SUV is a preview of a new lineup of electric vehicles under the EQ brand. EQ if you're wondering stands for "Electric Intelligence".
      "The emission-free automobile is the future. And our new EQ brand goes far beyond electric vehicles. EQ stands for a comprehensive electric ecosystem of services, technologies and innovations," said Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
      Generation EQ's design looks like a futuristic GLC-Class crossover with a large "grille" featuring blue accent lighting, large greenhouse area, no door handles or mirrors to improve aerodynamics, and a set of 21-inch alloy wheels. Inside, there is seating for four people. The dash is dominated by a 24-inch high-definition display providing more than enough details for the driver. A floating center console features touch-sensitive elements to control various aspects of the vehicle.
      Two electric motors mounted on the axles produce 400 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The run to 60 mph takes under five seconds. A floor-mounted 70kW lithium-ion battery pack provides a range of 310 miles. Charging can be done through a high-speed “wallbox” or inductive floor charger. Down the line, Mercedes plans on launching a 300kW charger that will provide 62 miles of range in five minutes. 
      The platform that the Generation EQ rides on is modular and will go forward to underpin a number of vehicles in the near future.
      Mercedes will launch a production version of the Generation EQ before the end of this decade.
      Source: Mercedes-Benz
      Live Pic Credit: Newspress
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Electric mobility: Mercedes-Benz flips the switch
      Generation EQ – mobility revisited September 29, 2016 - Paris/Stuttgart
      With "Generation EQ", Mercedes-Benz shows how electric cars can soon move into the fast lane: the concept vehicle, with the appearance of a sporty SUV coupé, gives a preview of a new generation of vehicles with battery-electric drives. The dynamic exterior design with its new electro-look underlines the focus on the powerful electric drive system: two electric motors, with a system output that can be increased to up to 300 kW thanks to scalable battery components, and permanent all-wheel drive deliver the guarantee of dynamic high-level performance. With a range of up to 500 kilometres and the typical Mercedes strengths of safety, comfort, functionality and connectivity, "Generation EQ" meets every demand in terms of contemporary, sustainable mobility. Also on the inside, the vehicle offers innovative solutions, including a completely new interior concept. Celebrating its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show, "Generation EQ" is the forerunner of Mercedes-Benz's new product brand for electric mobility, EQ. The name EQ stands for "Electric Intelligence" and is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of "Emotion and Intelligence".
      "The mobility of the future at Mercedes-Benz will stand on four pillars: Connected, Autonomous, Shared und Electric. 'Generation EQ' is the logical fusion of all four pillars," says Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The emission-free automobile is the future. And our new EQ brand goes far beyond electric vehicles. EQ stands for a comprehensive electric ecosystem of services, technologies and innovations."
      Electric-vehicle architecture for all models
      The new generation of electric vehicles will be based on an architecture developed specifically for battery-electric models, which is scalable in every respect and usable across all models: the wheelbase and track width as well as all other system components, especially the batteries, are variable thanks to the modular building- block system. The vehicle concept is thus optimised to meet every requirement of a future-oriented, battery-electric model family. The basic architecture is suitable for SUVs, saloons, coupés, cabriolets and other model series.
      Similarly to the latest series-produced models from Mercedes-Benz, the vehicle architecture builds on an intelligent multi-material mix of steel, aluminium and carbon fibre. This ensures that the requirements in terms of lightweight design, strength and cost efficiency are ideally met.
      Exterior design with new electro-look
      "Generation EQ is hot and cool," says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "Its fascination lies in a reinterpretation of our design philosophy of sensual purity, the aim being to create an avant-garde, contemporary and distinctive electro-look. At the same time, the design of the visionary show car, which has been reduced to the essentials, reveals an alluring progressivity."
      The monolithic basic form of "Generation EQ" unites the genes of an SUV with the dynamic character of a coupé and a dash of shooting brake at the rear end. The squat, elongated greenhouse gives rise to muscular-purist proportions. The new electro-look is the result of a flowing transition from the gleaming black bonnet across the windscreen to the dark-tinted panoramic roof – an exciting contrast to the alubeam silver paintwork.
      Scarcely visible body panel joins, concealed windscreen wipers, cameras instead of exterior mirrors and an absence of conventional door handles emphasise the stretched, dynamic silhouette, making the SUV crossover appear as a unified whole while reducing its air resistance. An intentionally reduced side view, broad shoulders and large 21-inch light-alloy wheels make for a dynamic presence even before the vehicle moves off.
      Driver-oriented cockpit with new electro-look
      The focus of the driver-oriented cockpit is on simple, touch-based controls with a new electro-look consistently reflecting the exterior styling. The asymmetrical design of the instrument panel with its large, floating wide-screen display is tailored to the driver. The innovative, digital user experience differentiates "Generation EQ" from the familiar control logic in today's vehicles, while giving a peek into the future of user interaction at Mercedes-Benz.
      Interior with new, touch-based controls and no knobs
      The interior of "Generation EQ" is characterised by contemporary luxury, this finding its main expression in an all-new user interface, which combines emotive appeal with intelligence and user-friendliness while dispensing with traditional switches and knobs, except for the electric seat adjustment typical of Mercedes. Two of the three narrow spokes on the steering wheel are provided with touch controls, which are integrated into OLED displays (OLED = organic light emitting diode ). They indicate icons and symbols in the respective menus. The driver can swipe through the various menus and confirm their selection with a click.
      The 24-inch (53 x 11 cm) TFT high-definition wide-screen display presents all the relevant information, such as speed, range, driving data or navigation and map details. The innovation is apparent from the differentiation between a highly reduced and a complex display, including intermediate stages. Whether there is a low information density with a very clean look to the display, or whether extra content is on view, is left to the driver's personal preference.
      User interface design with individualised content
      The information density can be increased step-by-step from a digital display and built up into a single- or dual-tube instrument containing more detailed information and feedback on speed and range. These modular displays allow the content to be individualised. An attractive user interface design is ensured by, among other things, a world of colours in electric blue, white and rose gold – the colours of the instrument displays adapt, depending on driving mode or charging process, to allow fast and intuitive recognition.
      Bordered in rose gold, the centre console appears to float in space: dispensing with mechanical controls, it is equipped with touch-sensitive elements. Similarly to the touch controls on the steering wheel, the driver can use a finger to operate the automatic climate control and the infotainment system. As "Generation EQ" is devoid of conventional exterior mirrors, cameras are used to project an image of the traffic behind onto integrated displays in the doors. Both the door openers and the electric window lifters are touch-controlled.
      Avant-garde, functional interior
      "Generation EQ" comes with four individual seats. The reduced volume, impression of floating in space and avant-garde seat upholstery layout make for a visual lightness. A tailored sound experience is provided by speakers integrated into the head restraints. The side bolsters are covered in light-white leather, while perforations with a pixel rain look reveal a view of particles in rose gold. Stitching with a PCB look on the deep-brown centre sections produces an exciting contrast. TFT monitors for rear-seat entertainment are integrated into the front backrests.
      EQ: the new electric mobility brand from the inventor of the automobile
      EQ offers a comprehensive electric mobility ecosystem with products, services, technologies and innovations. The spectrum ranges from electric vehicles to wallboxes and charging services to home energy storage units. Mercedes-Benz will market future battery-electric vehicles under the brand name EQ. The name stands for "Electric Intelligence" and is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of "Emotion and Intelligence". The new brand encompasses all key aspects for customer-focused electric mobility and extends beyond the vehicle itself. Future models will embody the essentials of state-of-the-art electric mobility: the fusion of emotively appealing and intelligent design, exceptional driving pleasure, high everyday practicality and maximum safety, a hallmark of every vehicle from the inventor of the automobile.
      The close-to-production concept vehicle "Generation EQ" marks the launch of an architecture for battery-electric vehicles across all models. Dieter Zetsche:

      "In 2007, the e-smart was a pioneer of electric motoring. We're now flipping the switch. We're ready for the launch of an electric product offensive that will cover all vehicle segments, from the compact to the luxury class."
      Both inside and outside: new light signature for electric cars
      With a new exterior and interior light signature, the inventor of the automobile presents the design trend for future electric vehicles with the star: the distinguishing mark of "Generation EQ" is the "Black Panel" front grille: the white- illuminated Mercedes star and all the light elements are integrated in this seamlessly glazed design element. The blue-illuminated surround gives a completely new interpretation of the typical Mercedes radiator grille. Illuminated LED optical fibres in electric blue produce a light show with exciting touches of colour.
      The peripheral light strip of the "Black Panel" is equally typical of "Generation EQ". Embedded in it are the white, powerful LED headlamps. Viewed from the side, the flowing E-line and beltline form a frame around the base of the mirror camera. Touches of rose gold in the chrome-plated E-line moulding and the spokes of the 21-inch wheels serve as a special eye-catching transition from interior to exterior.
      The rear lamps are of matching design, taking up the contour of the "Black Panel" and surrounded by an LED optical fibre in electric blue, which changes to red when the vehicle is moving and acts as a tail light. The central Mercedes star at the rear end is likewise illuminated in white. Similarly to the front end, the clasp-like light signature on the outside changes to orange as soon as the direction indicator is operated.
      Lighting mood: from welcome scenario to electric blue
      As the driver approaches the car, it automatically activates to welcome him or her with a specific colour mood in the interior. The welcome scenario is rounded off by digital light in the perforated interior door panels. Once the driver has taken their place, the lighting mood switches to electric blue, with the lights in the doors and on the seats dimming slowly. The wide-screen display gradually builds up to present the energy level. The navigation map shows all the destinations that can be reached on the current battery charge.
      Adaptive ambience lighting for a feel-good atmosphere
      A special feel-good atmosphere is produced by the adaptive ambience lighting on board "Generation EQ". There are lighting elements in the light strip underneath the windscreen, on the side and middle air vents, seats, door handles and interior door panels, on the centre console and around the Mercedes star in the steering wheel.
      Powerful electric drive: 300 kW total output with a range of up to 500 kilometres
      With two electric motors on the front and rear axles and a battery in the vehicle floor, "Generation EQ" embodies a powerful vehicle concept. The basis for dynamic high-level performance and safety comes courtesy of the electric all-wheel drive with axle-variable torque distribution and a battery installed deep in the vehicle floor between the axles. With a total output of up to 300 kW in the most powerful variant and a maximum torque of up to 700 Newton metres, "Generation EQ" accelerates to 100 km/h in under five seconds. In combination with the intelligent operating strategy from Mercedes-Benz, "Generation EQ" has a range of up to 500 kilometres.
      In the transfer to series production, Mercedes-Benz benefits not only from its in- house development and production expertise, but also from the Group's cross- model-series modular strategy for alternative drive systems and direct access to key components for electric mobility. The high-efficiency lithium-ion battery originates from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. Thanks to their modular design, the innovative battery systems have a model-specific total capacity of over 70 kWh.
      Convenient charging at home and on the road
      "Generation EQ" brings together the latest-generation charging technologies. The vehicle is ready both for charging at home by induction or wallbox and for fast charging. Mercedes-Benz energy storage units of the future could form an ideal symbiosis with the cordless charging system via induction or wallbox. Households that have their own photovoltaic system and which store their surplus solar power in a Mercedes-Benz energy storage unit can thus benefit from a "green" source of power that is extensively independent of the energy market.
      Significantly reduced charging times will come with the introduction of fast charging by the Combined Charging System (CCS). This European charging standard allows for fast charging with a far greater capacity than at present. Currently, charging capacities from 50 up to sometimes 150 kW are possible. In the medium to long term, a charging capacity of even up to 300 kW is planned. This would enable sufficient power for 100 locally emission-free kilometres to be recharged within five minutes.
      Driver assistance systems for maximum safety
      It goes without saying that "Generation EQ" also features the latest driver assistance systems from Mercedes-Benz. Using highly accurate maps from our partner HERE, the systems know such things as the precise curve radii as well as the position and size of a roundabout. The vehicle can then automatically adjust the speed and driving dynamics to give the driver even greater comfort and
      relaxation. EQ thus takes a further step on the road to autonomous driving, always under the premise of safety and in compliance with the statutory regulations. There is a special focus on the optimised interplay between the individual features, so- called "sensor fusion", i.e. the intelligent combination of data from different sensors. In the opinion of experts at Mercedes-Benz, this is one of the key requirements on the way to automated driving.
      Extended communication by Car-to-X technology
      But the engineers have gone one step further: for example, "Generation EQ" is equipped with Car-to-X technology and can exchange information with the infrastructure and other vehicles – an ideal basis for a series of new driver assistance features that build on existing systems and thus take a further step in the direction of accident prevention. It is also helpful for the driver to be informed about nearby recharging opportunities. As soon as "Generation EQ" realises that the destination cannot be reached on the available battery charge, it advises the driver of appropriate options on the navigation map.
      3D real-time map display from HERE
      Yet the digital interface can do considerably more: another highlight is the high- detail 3D city view with its trendsetting design. Technically, it is based on the map platform from HERE. This makes it possible, for example when searching for points of interest, for restaurants, shopping opportunities and tourist attractions to be especially highlighted. Other buildings recede elegantly into the background. A further focus in the design of the new HERE maps lies in reduced visual complexity while the vehicle is in motion. This means that the driver can see only those buildings and information that are relevant for navigation. There is an exceptional interplay between cockpit and map, with the buildings on the map reflecting details of the instrument lighting. At the same time, the map display also gives a preview of new features, especially for electric vehicles: the driver is provided with information on charging stations as well as opportunities for inductive charging along the route. The high-detail display also includes an indication of the current energy consumption along the route.
      Intelligent driver assistance
      The focus of the user interface is on optimal driver assistance, such as when the main concern is to make best possible use of the available energy in the batteries in order to achieve the best possible range. The innovative consumption display provides the driver with feedback on their driving style while drawing attention to energy-saving  possibilities.
      Additional driver incentives are conceivable: the wide-screen display can be used to tell the driver that the current range is not just sufficient to reach the desired destination, but would also allow a detour for a spur-of-the-moment visit to friends. In addition, the driver can collect bonus kilometres as a reward for especially efficient use of the traction battery – a functionality similar to the one already familiar from current models. The trick is that the collected bonus kilometres make the occupants aware of the attractions or interesting places they can reach from the current location thanks to their driving style.
    • By William Maley
      Cadillac is offering 400 of its smallest dealers a buyout if they don't want to be part of the ambitious and contentious Project Pinnacle.
      Automotive News reports the offers will range from $100,000 to $180,000. The dealers eligible for the buyout sold less than 50 new Cadillac models in 2015. While the 400 dealers make up 43 percent of Cadillac's total number of dealers in the U.S. (around 925), this group only made up 9 percent of total sales last year.
      Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said the buyouts is to give those an alternative who don't want to forward with the new program.
      “This is going to be a long, arduous and challenging journey and certainly not one for the faint-hearted. Some people may choose to make life a little easier than what lies ahead,” said de Nysschen.
      de Nysschen did say while Cadillac has too many dealers compared to their rivals, the buyout program isn't meant to be seen as a way to get rid of low-volume dealers. 
      Project Pinnacle is a new incentive program that will separate dealers into five tiers based on sales volume. Each tier offers a varying level of customer perk along with different requirements for services and facilities. For example, small stores cannot stock vehicles on site. Instead, they would offer a virtual showroom for customers to explore and order a vehicle. This program has gotten backlash from dealer groups, saying it would violate franchise laws and be unfair to the smaller dealers. 
      Those who have been offered the buyout have until November 21st to either take it or move forward with Project Pinnacle, which is expected to begin January 1st.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
       

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Cadillac is offering 400 of its smallest dealers a buyout if they don't want to be part of the ambitious and contentious Project Pinnacle.
      Automotive News reports the offers will range from $100,000 to $180,000. The dealers eligible for the buyout sold less than 50 new Cadillac models in 2015. While the 400 dealers make up 43 percent of Cadillac's total number of dealers in the U.S. (around 925), this group only made up 9 percent of total sales last year.
      Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said the buyouts is to give those an alternative who don't want to forward with the new program.
      “This is going to be a long, arduous and challenging journey and certainly not one for the faint-hearted. Some people may choose to make life a little easier than what lies ahead,” said de Nysschen.
      de Nysschen did say while Cadillac has too many dealers compared to their rivals, the buyout program isn't meant to be seen as a way to get rid of low-volume dealers. 
      Project Pinnacle is a new incentive program that will separate dealers into five tiers based on sales volume. Each tier offers a varying level of customer perk along with different requirements for services and facilities. For example, small stores cannot stock vehicles on site. Instead, they would offer a virtual showroom for customers to explore and order a vehicle. This program has gotten backlash from dealer groups, saying it would violate franchise laws and be unfair to the smaller dealers. 
      Those who have been offered the buyout have until November 21st to either take it or move forward with Project Pinnacle, which is expected to begin January 1st.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
       
    • By William Maley
      If there is one bright spot in Volkswagen, it has to be their commercial division. Through August, the division has seen sales increase 8.2 percent to 308,500 models. With their success, it should come as no surprise they are considering moving into other markets such as the U.S.
      Eckhard Scholz, Volkswagen's commercial vehicles division CEO tells Reuters that the United States "are still a highly interesting market." A lot of this comes from many commercial vehicle manufacturers operating in the U.S. are taking ideas from their European counterparts. But when asked about possibly selling vehicles in the U.S., Scholz said,
      "A lot of things come to mind but at the moment I have nothing concrete to say."
      Volkswagen's commercial division handles the Caddy, Transporter, and Crafter vans, along with the Amarok pickup. 
      This isn't the first time that Volkswagen has considered bringing over some of their commercial vehicles. Last year, then CEO of Volkswagen of America, Michael Horn said the automaker was looking at possibly bringing over one of their vans into the U.S.
      But there is a big elephant in the room; the diesel emission scandal. A fair number of commercial vehicle buyers like diesel engines for fuel economy and the ability to handle heavy loads. But Volkswagen may have a very difficult time trying to get diesel engines certified in the U.S. They might have to go with gas engines for the time being which could limit their appeal. 
      Source: Reuters

      View full article
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