Mercedes-Benz is dropping the Freightliner Sprinter van in the U.S. at the end of the 2021 model year, with output ending at a South Carolina plant in September 2021.
Sales are expected to end by Dec. 31, 2021, the company told Freightliner dealers this week.
Mercedes has sold the Sprinter van, redesigned in 2018, through two channels, Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz dealers, and will continue to build and market Mercedes versions.
The company cited multiple factors for the decision to drop the Freightliner van, introduced in the U.S. in 2001, including current and future economic conditions as well as the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mercedes-Benz is also reviewing its global product lineup to reduce costs and complexity.
"The high homologation costs for a single-market, low-volume product as the U.S.-only Freightliner Sprinter brand were central to this decision," Robert Veit, vice president and managing director of Daimler Vans, told dealers in a letter this week. "We will be working in close communication with the Freightliner Sprinter Dealer Board as we roll out the necessary actions to discontinue the distribution of Freightliner Sprinter."
U.S. sales of the Sprinter rose 7.4 percent to 32,000 last year, and 19 percent to 14,582 in the first half of 2020. A Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman said the Mercedes model accounts for the bulk of deliveries.
There are 36 Freightliner dealers in the U.S.