Mercedes-Benz is steering toward the top end of the light commercial vehicle segment with a fleet of new electric models, mirroring its high-margin strategy with passenger cars.
On Tuesday, the German luxury marque said it would debut a midsize passenger van and a range of factory-upfitted midsize and large camper vans.
Mercedes will build the models on a new electric platform it calls VAN.EA, for Van Electric Architecture, starting in 2026.
Mathias Geisen, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said this push into the profitable luxury segment of the passenger van business is needed to help finance the automaker's pivot toward an electric future.
"We will target premium segments in regions, channels, products and industries with the highest margins," Geisen said on a media call.
Mercedes-Benz Vans aims for a "double-digit return on sales" through the end of the decade and will trim fixed costs by 20 percent by mid-decade.
Targeting the consumer luxury end of the light commercial vehicle market is a quick path to profitable growth.
"Fleet buyers cannot spend extra money on these vehicles as they must make their business trim all superfluous costs," said Sam Fiorani, vice president for AutoForecast Solutions. "Consumers, however, see the benefit in spending money on niceties that come with a personal-use van, multiplying the margins for the manufacturer."