A worker passes the production line for Mercedes-Benz AG Sprinter vans during assembly at the Gaz auto plant. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Amazon Orders 20,000 Mercedes Vans to Bolster Delivery Program

(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.

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