The Sprinter delivery van, which some in the RV industry believe has potential as a Class B or Class C motorhome chassis or as a van conversion, is not exactly taking the market by storm, according to data revealed recently by DaimlerChrysler.
The German-American auto and truck maker reported 560 Sprinter units were sold in the U.S. in March and 1,694 were sold during the first quarter of this year.
The Sprinter was not marketed in North America during the first quarter of 2003.
The Sprinter, which currently is being marketed as both a Dodge and a Freightliner product in North America, is intended to replace the Dodge Ram full-size van.
Ram van production was discontinued last June, but a total of 2,976 Ram vans and wagons were sold during the first three months of this year, a 44% decline from the 5,224 units sold during the same period a year earlier.
Currently, the Sprinter is assembled in Dusseldorf, Germany, and is shipped as a kit to DaimlerChrysler’s Freightliner plant in Gaffney, S.C., where it is assembled.
DaimlerChrysler has put on hold plans to build a North American Sprinter assembly plant.
A rule of thumb in the auto industry is that there must be demand for at least 250,000 units a year to justify building a plant to assemble a particular model.