Argentina – The midsize van will join the production line-up at the end of June and be made in several variants: panel van, Mixto and Tourer. Available in both rear-wheel or front-wheel drive, the vehicle will be powered by a diesel engine for the panel van and Mixto, and both diesel and gasoline for the Tourer. Mercedes hopes it will “set a new benchmark” in the mid-size van segment in Argentina.
The OEM also plans to export the Vito to other Latin America markets in future. Assembly at the Centro Industrial Juan Manuel Fangio plant will therefore contribute to the company’s international growth strategy, ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’. In the vehicle-maker’s own words, the objective is “to further extend the technological leadership, to amplify existing activities and to tap into new growth potential outside the European markets”.
Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said, “Our growth strategy is already taking root. We are continuing to intensify our presence in the regions of opportunity in the US and Latin America which are important for Vans – and do so at a fast pace. Following the market launch of the new Vito in the US, Argentina is next.”
Joachim Maier, who is responsible for Mercedes-Benz Vans in Argentina, added that the company “will be investing further in this location and will be extending our portfolio of products for the Argentine clients”. Since 2013, the OEM has already invested $220m to improve the efficiency and capacity of the Buenos Aires plant as well as to launch new products such as the Vito.
The Buenos Aires factory was established in 1951 and produces the Sprinter van as well as assembling bus chassis and trucks supplied by Mercedes-Benz Brazil. Last year, the facility turned out its 250,000th Sprinter and 185,000th truck.