Vanlife is trendy, the market is booming - also and especially in the current times. In Germany, for example, new registrations in 2020 reached a new record of around 80.000 newly registered motorhomes, according to the Caravaning Industry Association. Something similar can be observed in the rest of Europe and the USA. And the forecasts are also promising for 2021. Compact campervans in particular are among the growth drivers - thanks to their suitability for travel and everyday use. Reason for Mercedes-Benz Vans, together with the new Head of Sales and Marketing Klaus Rehkugler, to give an initial outlook on the motorhome year 2021.
Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo family
"We are very satisfied with the current order situation of our Marco Polo camper family - we want to sell around 2021 percent more of these vehicles in 25. To do this, we surprise our customers with new product features, among other things. Also in the following years we see real growth potential, from which we will generate additional sales," says Klaus Rehkugler.
The Marco Polo family, consisting of the fully equipped camper Marco Polo and the Marco Polo HORIZON and ACTIVITY with a pop-up roof and bench seat, will be available on request with the following new features from spring 2021:
- Marco Polo HORIZON and ACTIVITY for the first time with an external power connection: Thanks to the 230 volt external socket, extended camping stays are now also made easier and more convenient in the Marco Polo HORIZON and ACTIVITY.
- URBAN GUARD driver protection available for all model variants: URBAN GUARD warns both audibly and visually if a break-in or theft is detected. In the event of theft, the stolen vehicle can be tracked and located via Mercedes me connect.
- Blind Spot Assistant enhanced with Rear Cross Traffic Alert: Rear Cross Traffic Alert supports the driver when reversing out of parking spaces by means of an acoustic warning tone when another vehicle is crossing.
Mercedes-Benz is breaking new ground with its mid-size vans
In addition to the in-house Marco Polo camper family, Mercedes-Benz Vans works closely with motorhome manufacturers and provides basic vehicles for their extensions and superstructures.
"Vanlife is very popular all over the world. The trend is increasingly towards campervans that are just as suitable for travel as they are for everyday use. As of now, we will increasingly meet this demand with suitable basic vehicles in addition to our Marco Polo family. Our mid-size vans, the Vito and the V-Class, play a particularly important role here due to their compact exterior dimensions."says Klaus Rehkugler.
In 2021 the Upper Bavaria-based motorhome manufacturer Pössl, a specialist in panel van conversions, will be launching two new products based on the Mercedes-Benz V-Class and Vito on the European market: the Campstar and Vanstar.
In the USA, too, the Mercedes-Benz midsize vans are gaining a foothold in the motorhome industry - a novelty for the market. As one of the first US manufacturers in the motorhome segment, Driverge Vehicle Innovations from Charleston, South Carolina, uses the Vito and uses it as the basis for the Metris Getaway.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter impresses traditional companies and startups
Since the market launch of the third Sprinter generation, the large van from Mercedes-Benz has embarked on a particularly successful course in the motorhome industry.
"Numerous new Sprinter-based motorhomes have been presented since 2018 - worldwide. In the last six months alone, more than ten new models celebrated their premieres, from camping buses to semi-integrated vehicles to fully integrated motorhomes. These include models from traditional companies such as Bürstner, Carthago, Eura Mobil, Frankia, Hymer, Kabe or La Strada. However, the Sprinter also impresses startups - such as Alphavan from Wangen im Allgäu. This shows how versatile and innovative our large van is," emphasizes Klaus Rehkugler.
A central theme for the Sprinter 2021 is the rollout of the OM 654 engine generation from the Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars portfolio of engines. The OM 654 is powerful and efficient at the same time, thanks to the integrated technology based on the stepped combustion process, dynamic multi-way exhaust gas recirculation and close to the engine Exhaust aftertreatment.
The panel van and the chassis with rear-wheel drive are the first variants of the Sprinter to be available with the four-cylinder diesel generation of the OM 654 engine family. As a further innovation, Mercedes-Benz has combined the modern 2,0-liter unit with the comfortable 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, as an alternative to the 6-speed manual transmission.
Further Sprinter innovations for 2021: With immediate effect, Mercedes-Benz is expanding the Mercedes me connect basic services available free of charge for the Sprinter in motorhome use. In addition to the maintenance, accident and breakdown management services as well as telediagnosis and remote vehicle diagnosis, the vehicle setup and vehicle monitoring services are now available free of charge for three years as standard. While the vehicle setup services allow, for example, the query of tire pressure or the fuel level via smartphone app, the vehicle monitoring services allow, among other things, the determination of the vehicle's location.
Mercedes-Benz Citan: World premiere of the small van in 2021
In addition to the mid and large size segment, Mercedes-Benz Vans is also represented in the small size segment. In the small vans segment, Mercedes-Benz will present the successor to the Citan as part of the Mercedes-Benz Vans product portfolio in the second half of 2021.
The new Citan is a completely new development. The vehicle will have the DNA that is typical of the brand, for example in terms of unmistakable design, safety and connectivity.
Compact external dimensions with generous space in the interior also open up a wide range of options for the new small van in the field of motorhome conversions. Wide-opening sliding doors on both the left and right sides of the vehicle and a low loading sill allow comfortable access to the interior and easy loading of the vehicle. In addition to its high functionality and variability, the vehicle concept promises comprehensive safety equipment and a high level of driving comfort.
"The new Citan is one of our highlights in 2021, ”concludes Klaus Rehkugler. “Stay tuned to see which other trends Mercedes-Benz Vans will pick up in the motorhome segment."
Of course that had not happened yet!
tuningblog has many more news around the topic Camping and RV at the beginning. Do you want to see them all? Just click HERE and look around. Our focus is especially on converted Campers & mobile homes. That means you will find fewer reports on classic standard motorhomes, but much more we try to introduce specially modified copies that show that the subject Tuning is represented in the camping & RV scene. Following an excerpt of the last campers and campers:
First outlook for the motorhome year 2021!
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