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


William Maley

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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..

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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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      "We are harnessing those ingredients today to reimagine the business, the two brands and the customer experience of tomorrow. The Reimagine strategy allows us to enhance and celebrate that uniqueness like never before. Together, we can design an even more sustainable and positive impact on the world around us," Bolloré said in a statement.
      Jaguar

      Out of the two brands, Jaguar is hurting the most. Sales have dropped like a rock due to people stepping away from sedans and diesel powertrains. Bolloré's plan has the brand moving to an all-electric lineup by 2025. Not many details were released or talked about during the press conference this morning. What we do know is,
      Future models will utilize a new modular electric platform, known as the Electric Modular Architecture (EMA). The planned XJ replacement, rumored to go electric has been canceled. Likely reason for the cancelation is the platform that was going to be used for this model likely didn't scale to other models. Jaguar did say the XJ name could appear again on a future model. Automotive News (Subscription Required) reports that Jaguar will also move away from SUV-styled vehicles, likely meaning the end of the E and F-Pace. Land Rover

      Land Rover isn't going to dive in quickly as Jaguar into EVs. The plan is to continue offering a mix of powertrains, but with a heavy focus on electrification. Six all-electric models are planned to be launched by 2030, with the first model coming out in 2024. No word on what that model would be, but our guess is possibly a Range Rover EV. Land Rover will use Electric Modular Architecture for EVs, alongside the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) for hybrids. The goal is to have 60 percent of Land Rover sales be for electrics by 2030.
      Other Details
      Jaguar Land Rover said that it would keep all three of its U.K. plans open, but the Castle Bromwich plant(home to Jaguar XE, XF, and F-Type production) has a unclear future.
      “First we will continue production of our existing nameplates built there to the end of their lifecycle. Then we will explore opportunities to refurbish the plant, which could benefit from the consolidation of businesses scattered across the Midlands,” said Bolloré.
      Jaguar Land Rover is also planning on moving their executive team and other major management positions to a centralized location in Gaydon, and work more closely with their parent company, Tata Group.
      Source: Jaguar Land Rover
      Jaguar Land Rover reimagines the future of modern luxury by design
      New global strategy – Reimagine – announced for the British company under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer, Thierry Bolloré A sustainability-rich reimagination of modern luxury, unique customer experiences, and positive societal impact Start of journey to become a net zero carbon business by 2039 Reimagination of Jaguar as an all-electric luxury brand from 2025 to ‘realise its unique potential’ In the next five years, Land Rover will welcome six pure electric variants as it continues to be the world leader of luxury SUVs All Jaguar and Land Rover nameplates to be available in pure electric form by end of the decade; first all-electric Land Rover model in 2024 Clean-hydrogen fuel-cell power being developed in preparation for future demand Streamlined structure to deliver greater agility and promote an efficiency of focus Global manufacturing and assembly footprint to be retained, rightsized, repurposed and reorganised Collaborations and knowledge-sharing with industry leaders, in particular from within the wider Tata Group will allow the company to explore potential synergies on clean energy, connected services, data and software development leadership On a path towards double-digit EBIT margin and positive cash flow, with an ambition to achieve positive cash net-of-debt by 2025 with a value creation approach delivering quality and profit-over-volume Gaydon, UK - Monday 15th February 2021:
      A vision of modern luxury by design
      Jaguar Land Rover will reimagine the future of modern luxury by design through its two distinct, British brands.
      Set against a canvas of true sustainability, Jaguar Land Rover will become a more agile creator of the world’s most desirable luxury vehicles and services for the most discerning of customers. A strategy that is designed to create a new benchmark in environmental, societal and community impact for a luxury business.
      “Jaguar Land Rover is unique in the global automotive industry. Designers of peerless models, an unrivalled understanding of the future luxury needs of its customers, emotionally rich brand equity, a spirit of Britishness and unrivalled access to leading global players in technology and sustainability within the wider Tata Group.
      “We are harnessing those ingredients today to reimagine the business, the two brands and the customer experience of tomorrow. The Reimagine strategy allows us to enhance and celebrate that uniqueness like never before. Together, we can design an even more sustainable and positive impact on the world around us,” said Mr Bolloré.
      Two distinct modern luxury brands with sustainability at the centre
      At the heart of its Reimagine plan will be the electrification of both Land Rover and Jaguar brands on separate architectures with two clear, unique personalities.
      In a Land Rover, vehicle and driver are united by adventure. By breaking new ground, confronting new challenges and not being content with the expected, Land Rover truly helps people to go ‘Above and Beyond’. In the next five years, Land Rover will welcome six pure electric variants as it continues to be the world leader of luxury SUVs through its three families of Range Rover, Discovery and Defender. The first all-electric variant will arrive in 2024.
      By the middle of the decade, Jaguar will have undergone a renaissance to emerge as a pure electric luxury brand with a dramatically beautiful new portfolio of emotionally engaging designs and pioneering next-generation technologies. Jaguar will exist to make life extraordinary by creating dramatically beautiful automotive experiences that leave its customers feeling unique and rewarded. Although the nameplate may be retained, the planned Jaguar XJ replacement will not form part of the line-up, as the brand looks to realise its unique potential.
      Jaguar and Land Rover will offer pure electric power, nameplate by nameplate, by 2030. By this time, in addition to 100% of Jaguar sales, it is anticipated that around 60% of Land Rovers sold will be equipped with zero tailpipe powertrains.
      Jaguar Land Rover’s aim is to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039. As part of this ambition, the company is also preparing for the expected adoption of clean fuel-cell power in line with a maturing of the hydrogen economy. Development is already underway with prototypes arriving on UK roads within the next 12 months as part of the long-term investment programme.
      Sustainability that delivers a new benchmark in environmental and societal impact for the luxury sector is fundamental to the success of Reimagine. A new centralised team will be empowered to build on and accelerate pioneering innovations in materiality, engineering, manufacturing, services and circular economy investments. 
      Annual commitments of circa £2.5bn will include investments in electrification technologies and the development of connected services to enhance the journey and experiences of customers, alongside data-centric technologies that will further improve their ownership ecosystem.
      Proven services like the flexible PIVOTAL subscription model (which has grown 750% during the fiscal year), born out of Jaguar Land Rover’s incubator and investor arm, InMotion, will now be rolled out to other markets following a successful launch in the UK.
      Quality and efficiency
      Reimagine will see Jaguar Land Rover establish new benchmark standards in quality and efficiency for the luxury sector by rightsizing, repurposing and reorganising.
      Central to that journey, and in order to establish different personalities for the two brands, is the new architecture strategy. 
      Land Rover will use the forthcoming flex Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). It will deliver electrified internal combustion engines (ICE) and full electric variants as the company evolves its product line-up in the future. In addition, Land Rover will also use pure electric biased Electric Modular Architecture (EMA) which will also support advanced electrified ICE.
      Future Jaguar models will be built exclusively on a pure electric architecture.
      Reimagine is designed to deliver simplification too. By consolidating the number of platforms and models being produced per plant, the company will be able to establish new benchmark standards in efficient scale and quality for the luxury sector. Such an approach will help rationalise sourcing and accelerate investments in local circular economy supply chains.
      From a core manufacturing perspective that means Jaguar Land Rover will retain its plant and assembly facilities in the home UK market and around the world. As well as being the manufacturer of the MLA architecture, Solihull, West Midlands will also be the home to the future advanced Jaguar pure electric platform. 
      Key partners including Trade Unions, retailers and those in the supply chain will continue to play a vital part of the extended new Jaguar Land Rover ecosystem and its journey towards reimagining the future of modern luxury.
      ReFocus to a more agile operation
      As evidenced with the latest financial results, Jaguar Land Rover has a strong foundation on which to build a sustainable and resilient business for its customers and their communities, partners, employees, shareholders and the environment.
      Driving this transformation is the recently launched Refocus programme, by consolidating existing initiatives like Charge+ with new cross-functional activities.
      Reimagine will see Jaguar Land Rover right-size, repurpose and reorganise into a more agile operation. The creation of a flatter structure is designed to empower employees to create and deliver at speed and with clear purpose.
      To accelerate this efficiency of focus, the company will substantially reduce and rationalise its non-manufacturing infrastructure in the UK. Gaydon will become the symbol of this effort – the ‘reactor’ of the business - with the Executive Team and other management functions moving into the one location to aid frictionless cooperation and agile decision-making.  
      Leapfrog to leadership with Tata Group
      In order to realise its vision of modern luxury mobility with confidence, the company will curate closer collaboration and knowledge-sharing with Tata Group companies to enhance sustainability and reduce emissions as well as sharing best practice in next-generation technology, data and software development leadership. Jaguar Land Rover has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, in which Tata Sons is the largest shareholder, since 2008.
      “We have so many ingredients from within. It is a unique opportunity,” said Mr Bolloré. “Others have to rely solely on external partnerships and compromise, but we have frictionless access that will allow us to lean forward with confidence and at speed.”
      Bringing all these ingredients together, Jaguar Land Rover is on a path towards double-digit EBIT margins and positive cash flow, with an ambition to achieve positive cash net-of-debt by 2025. 
      Ultimately, Jaguar Land Rover aims to be one of the most profitable luxury manufacturers in the world.
      Mr N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc commented: “The Reimagine strategy takes Jaguar Land Rover on a significant path of acceleration in harmony with the vision and sustainability priorities of the wider Tata Group. Together, we will help Jaguar realise its potential, reinforce Land Rover’s timeless appeal and collectively become a symbol of a truly responsible business for its customers, society and the planet.”
      Mr Bolloré concluded: “As a human-centred company, we can, and will, move much faster and with clear purpose of not just reimagining modern luxury but defining it for two distinct brands. Brands that present emotionally unique designs, pieces of art if you like, but all with connected technologies and responsible materials that collectively set new standards in ownership. We are reimagining a new modern luxury by design.”
    • By William Maley
      Yesterday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Groupe PSA officially merged to become Stellantis, the fourth-largest automaker in the world. But this merge has produced some consequences that need to be addressed. One of those being Peugeot's re-entry back in to the U.S.
      “We were last speaking about [Peugeot’s U.S. re-entry] a year and a half ago, before Stellantis. We can’t not take into account that in the coming days Peugeot will be part of this new world. I imagine in the coming months due to the new strategy we will have to adapt and reconsider all elements, including this one,” said Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato to Automotive News.
      A key reason for this reconsideration not wanting overlap brands in the U.S.
      This is a polar opposite to comments made last year by Larry Dominique, CEO of PSA North America.
      Imparto's focus for Peugeot in the near future is concentrating on its core markets - Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. There are also plans to get the brand back on track in China. As for the U.S., Imparto said it was "still on the table" down the road.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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