A worker passes the production line for Mercedes-Benz AG Sprinter vans during assembly at the Gaz auto plant, operated by Gaz Group, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. The economy may shrink for two years in a row for the first time under Putin if oil stays at $60 through 2016, the central bank says. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
Daimler AG is emerging as a beneficiary of Amazon.com Inc.’s booming package-delivery needs, with the e-commerce giant ordering 20,000 of the German automaker’s Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans.
Mercedes, which just opened a new plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, started producing Amazon-branded vans for the online retailer’s Delivery Service Partner program, which enables small businesses to lease vans for deliveries through third-party fleet management companies.
Amazon is assisting small businesses across the U.S. by providing discounted vehicles, fuel, insurance, uniforms and access to delivery technology, the Seattle-based company said in June. The bulk purchase of Sprinter vans makes Amazon the largest buyer of the model, Mercedes said in a statement Wednesday.