The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter introduced to the market in spring 2006 has been outstandingly well received by customers. To better satisfy the persisting high demand for the vans manufactured in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde, the Board of Management of Daimler AG has decided to invest a total of 177 million euros in the two German van-making facilities.

Decision for German plants Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde as production site

"We very consciously decided in favour of additional capacities in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde. The infrastructure as well as the qualifications, flexibility and dedication of the staff guarantee the high quality level of our products," says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG.

"With these investments as Van unit we are extremely well prepared to handle the future challenges in the market. An important factor in this decision was the good, constructive talks between plant management and the works council. The results permit us to achieve sustained, profitable growth also in future," adds Wilfried Porth, head of the Mercedes-Benz Vans unit.

All in all, the investments secure the jobs at both plants and permit the creation of as many as 500 new jobs at the two plants in the next few years.

The good, successful cooperation with partner Volkswagen also will be further enhanced by the increase in production.

New bodyshop and new painting plant at the Ludwigsfelde factory

So that the so-called panel van can be produced also in Ludwigsfelde in future, both a new bodyshell facility and a new painting plant will be installed. The assembly area will be enlarged by around 9500 sqm. The alterations will be completed by mid-2011 and will bring an increase in capacity in Ludwigsfelde by around 50 percent.

Additions to plant and equipment in Düsseldorf

At the Düsseldorf factory there will be additions to plant and equipment. For instance, the dryer and cooler of the cathodic dip painting facility will be extended to raise the capacity and efficiency of the facilities. The additional production capacity of around 12 percent already will be available at the end of 2009. The challenge to the production engineers will be to integrate the enlargement measures into ongoing production.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offers a range of variants to suit almost any customer requirement

The Sprinter offers more than 1000 basic models in the 3 to 5 t permissible gross vehicle weight category. The different body, drive system and weight variants, together with the model variants panel van, crewbus and pickup, add up to this imposing figure.

The chassis are available in three wheelbase lengths; for closed-body variants there is a fourth length with an extended overhang. The vehicles feature load volumes from 7.5 to 17 cubic metres. The new Sprinter is made to measure for application-specific conversions, too, with a big 1350 millimetres clear space between the wheel arches and up to 2140 millimetres of headroom under the new super-high roof.