The Mercedes Metris Van Is Leaving the US Because Nobody Wanted It
And it doesn’t sound like dealers are all that sad about it.
The Mercedes-Benz Metris work van will be leaving the U.S. market in late 2023 due to poor sales, according to Automotive News. Citing a Mercedes dealer memo from Thursday, the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine for the Metris as well as the bigger Sprinter van is being discontinued. This effectively eliminates the Metris and gas-powered versions of the Sprinter after the third quarter of 2023. This news has been confirmed to The Drive by a Mercedes spokesperson.
The diesel Sprinter will still be around, though, and reportedly accounts for 75 percent of that van's sales.
Available as a windowless cargo or windowed passenger van, the medium-sized Mercedes van didn't sell very well in the U.S., reportedly only moving about 60,000 units since 2015. It was outsold by its bigger Sprinter sibling by more than four times. A significant portion of those Metris sales was to the federal government, with the U.S. Postal Service reportedly putting in a multi-year order for 30,000 vans back in 2020. Mercedes says it will make good on that deal before it shuts down the Metris show here for good.
The Metris' failure came down to its awkward, in-between size. This is a country that prefers either big vans or small vans but not something that's neither like the Metris. The Mercedes—known overseas as the V-Class or the Vito—was smaller than the Ford Transit proper, bigger than the Transit Connect, and didn't really compete directly with either, placing itself in a bit of a no man's land.
It follows the A-Class as the latest Mercedes product to get the boot after not really working for the brand in the U.S. As for future Benz discontinuations, Mercedes has apparently already informed dealers that it will soon replace both the C- and E-Class Coupes with a new two-door called the CLE.
Interestingly, it doesn't sound like Mercedes dealers are all that bummed out about the Metris' U.S. departure. Speaking to Automotive News, an anonymous Mercedes dealership exec went as far as saying the van did not deserve the Mercedes badge. "There's nothing luxury about it," he said. "It drives louder than a Toyota." Sort of an unnecessary dig at Toyotas, which are actually pretty quiet inside these days, but you get the idea.
The nameless exec also said the Metris didn't offer the profit margins Mercedes dealers are used to. "We would give all the dealer performance bonuses, all the profit to the customer," to get rid of the things, he told AN.
Previous reports have pointed to an electric Sprinter due out in the third quarter of 2023, which would line up with the demise of the Metris and gas-powered Sprinter.
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