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DaimlerChrysler will assemble its Sprinter van, which has Class B and Class C motorhome applications, in a new factory it will construct near Savannah, Ga., according to Georgia Gov. Roy E. Barnes.
Currently, Sprinter units are assembled in Dusseldorf, Germany, for the European market and Sprinter components are shipped as a kit from Germany to DaimlerChrysler’s Freightliner subsidiary in Gaffney, S.C., for final assembly prior to sale to North American customers.
A Canadian firm, Leisure Travel Vans, introduced a Class B motorhome built on a Sprinter chassis during last month’s Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association-sponsored Harrisburg Show.
Leisure Travel used a “Sprinter shell,” similar to the “seat-delete” unit that a van converter would use to build its motorhome on a Sprint chassis, said Dean Schaper, Freightliner’s product manager for motorhomes and shuttle buses.
DaimlerChrysler eventually plans to make a cutaway version of the Sprinter chassis available to Class C motorhome builders, he added.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s governor said DaimlerChrysler will begin building the Sprinter plant near Savannah in July “barring any unforeseen changes in the economy.” The new plant, where the Vito van also will be produced, should then be completed by July 2005.
Georgia’s governor said DaimlerChrysler will invest $750 million in the project and will create around 3,300 new jobs. The Georgia governor also believes an additional 700 new jobs will be created by auto industry suppliers locating near DaimlerChrysler’s new Savannah van assembly complex.