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    Rumorpile: More Vans From Mercedes-Benz


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    November 14, 2013

    Automotive News is reporting that Mercedes-Benz could be getting more vans for the U.S. At the moment, Mercedes-Benz currently sells the Sprinter van in the U.S.

    Insiders tell AN that Mercedes-Benz debating whether or not to send their next-generation Vito and V-Class to the U.S. sometime after their introduction into the European market in 2014.

    The Vito is about the same size as the Ford Transit Connect and Nissan NV 200. This is offered in Europe as a commercial and passenger van. Then there is the new V-Class which is slightly larger than most minivans on sale in the U.S. It would also be one of the more luxurious models available with wood trim, panoramic sunroof, and loads of electronics.

    Both models are rear-wheel drive and come available with either four or six-cylinder engines.

    We'll be keeping an eye on this and see if anything comes to fruition.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Who knows, maybe compact luxury vans will be the new growth niche after compact luxury CUVs become passe...

    Lincoln needs to get out ahead of the market and do an MK* version of the new-generation '14 Transit Connect.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    Sprinter belongs to Merc's commercial vans division, which does not compete against luxury passenger car brands. In addition to commercial vans, Daimler also has Mercedes commercial truck and bus divisions, with vehicles like the Actros, Unimog, and Citaro.

    Actros_tipper.jpg

    MD52h-UnimogU40006x6.a02-560.jpg

    640px-Brno,_Autotec,_Mercedes_Citaro_na_

    In some markets, Mercedes does sell the Viano, a smaller passenger van, alongside their luxury passenger cars. It's quite popular in some Asian markets like China. The closest GM equivalent to the Viano would be the GL8, though that's branded as Buick instead of Cadillac.

    2011-Buick-GL8-Side-View-588x441.jpg

    Edited by pow
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    Chevroletdes Benz. Luxury pretensions with generic intentions.

    Cadillac could put their sharp edges on the llittle Nissan NV that Chevy will be rebadging soon to get into the game quickly...

    Does not disprove Chevroletdes Benz.

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    Only because they're a badge-whore. No need whatsoever to be in every segment in the auto industry when they have other brands for that and a profit margin that doesn't require such.

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    Would be interesting if Daimler marketed a van as the 'E350' - could slide right in on an established nameplate.
    Oops, they're already using a van nameplate on a "luxury" car. :P

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    Because it wouldn't show up on the monthly sales report. :P

    My local MB dealer, a multi-brand 'mini auto mall' of luxury nameplates (tho under the MB banner) has a full 2-dozen sprinters parked right out front. Looks like a rental moving van outfit. Why they're not around back or off to one side... wonder what the brand snobs overpaying for a MB sedan or cute ute feel when they see all that Refrigerator Whiteness ifront of their 'luxury service experience center'. lol

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    GM used to be full service on light, medium and heavy duty trucks, vans and auto's and look where it got them. I say eventually MB will also fall to the weight of trying to be all things everywhere.

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    This sounds more like they want a luxury minivan in the USA, and they may be successful with this, but the R-class bombed, so I sort of doubt it. But if a Toyota or Honda minivan can cost $40,000, maybe Mercedes can get people to pay $50,000 for a minivan. I don't see the Vito coming here, that is a small commercial vehicle for Europe.

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    As is the Nissan NV and the Ford Transit Connect..... why wouldn't Benz want a piece of that pie?

    They might, Sprinter is from the Mercedes-Benz Vans division, so they could bring others from that group here, but I sort of doubt it. I think Mercedes feels that they can engineer the best product for any segment. Daimler builds the best trucks and buses, Mercedes is one of the standards of the auto industry, I am sure they can build a better van than the Transit or NV200, but just because they can doesn't mean they should.

    These vans could have diesel power though, instant win over vans sold in the USA right now.

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    Because it wouldn't show up on the monthly sales report. :P

    Sure it does... the same way that Cadillac and Chevrolet appear on the same monthly sales report.

    But not under the brand name 'mercedees' if it's a 'Freightliner'.

    GMC sales don't count as Cadillac sales...

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      Press Release is on Page 2
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      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.
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      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
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      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
      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
    • 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
    • By William Maley
      The tentative agreement between General Motors and Canadian union Unifor has a $400 million investment going to Oshawa for a new product. Unifor President Jerry Dias said at a press briefing yesterday morning that Oshawa would be the only GM plant that will build cars and trucks. Neither side is saying what that product might be.
      But Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail has learned from sources that Oshawa will be handling the final assembly of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Truck bodies from GM's Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana will travel to Oshawa to have interiors installed and final assembly. The Detroit News reports something similar, although their source says it will only be the Silverado.
      Oshawa has a history of building pickups. For four decades, Oshawa was one of the places where GM built the Silverado and Sierra. But in 2009, GM closed the truck plant due to the recession. 
      The Globe and Mail also reports that production of the XTS has been extended at Oshawa. Analysts believed previously that XTS production would end in 2019.
      Source: The Globe and Mail, The Detroit News

      View full article
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