Mission Metris: Mercedes Shows Options for New, Midsize Van at SEMA Show

German maker brings four concepts to Las Vegas.

by on Nov.04, 2014

Mercedes brought its DJ van, developed in partnership with RENNtech, to SEMA.

With the upcoming launch of its new Metris model, Mercedes-Benz becomes the latest maker to enter the growing U.S. midsize van market. And to give potential buyers a sense of the flexibility designed into the Metris, the German maker is showcasing four projects vans at this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas.

The American version of the global Mercedes Vito van which go on sale about a year from now, giving customers some time to think about all the possible variations, including those “Mission Metris” concepts ranging from a small fire truck to a DJ van.

Fueling Up the News!

“It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA,” said Bernie Glaser, the executive who oversees sales in the American market of the new Metris and other Mercedes vans, such as the big Sprinter.

“Our SEMA “Mission Metris” presence with four different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate ‘Mercedes-Benz Metris’ and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety.”

Mercedes developed a small fire chief concept truck with Rado that would serve as a rolling communications center, Mercedes said.

(Mercedes concept designed to SUC. For more, Click Here.)

The four SEMA concept vans include:

  • A DJ van developed in partnership with RENNtech. It features a clamshell-style roof that opens up and can act as a backdrop for a party or DJ event;
  • A small fire chief concept truck developed with Rado. It would serve as a rolling communications center, Mercedes suggests, for a fire department or some other government agency;
  • A luxury van developed with HQ Custom Design and intended to serve as an executive shuttle with great onboard audio/visual equipment and other luxury details;
  • A mobile pro golf shop developed with Garmin; it includes a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system to evaluate a players game – and “simulate potential outcomes.”

Mercedes’ entry into the midsize van segment comes as a number of other makers are updating or adding new models of their own, from the likes of the Nissan NV200 to the latest-generation Ford Transit Connect. That’s good news for buyers who long had to settle for dated products like the old Ford E-Van.

(Click Here for details about Nissan’s quarterly earnings results.)

Analysts expect at least some surge in demand from a recovering U.S. economy, but automakers like Mercedes also are hoping to spur sales by showing potential buyers the tremendous flexibility their products offer.

Mercedes notes that it will be working with a number of upfitters, and will offer both passenger and cargo versions of the Metris when it goes on sale next year.

(To see why there is big interest in autonomous vehicles in Asia, Click Here.)

It has yet to detail final powertrain specifications for the U.S. market. Whether a diesel will be offered remains to be seen, though the German maker is a big proponent of the high-mileage technology in its passenger cars – and for its full-size Sprinter van. In fact, 50% of buyers are choosing the 4-cylinder BlueTec option, Mercedes says.

Sales of the Sprinter are up more than 17% so far this year. And the company hopes to boost demand for 2015 with new options including all-wheel-drive and a “super high” roof.

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2 Responses to “Mission Metris: Mercedes Shows Options for New, Midsize Van at SEMA Show”

  1. Warren Brown says:

    Telematics in this one?

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      Yes, though I don’t have details, Warren.