Teaser sketch for potential Mercedes-Benz pickup truckEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz is officially working on a pickup truck, though whether or not the vehicle will make it to the U.S. is still up in the air. A few things we do know about the pickup is that it will be a mid-size model and feature a dual-cab design, the latter indicated in the official teaser sketch above. Mercedes has also confirmed that the pickup will be based on a body-on-frame platform shared with the next-generation Nissan NP300 (a Navara in certain markets), and that production will take place at plants in Argentina and Spain.
Now, we have a few more details by way of an interview by CAR with the head of Mercedes’ commercial vehicles unit, Volker Mornhinweg. In the interview, Mornhinweg explained that Mercedes didn’t want to develop a “fat cowboy truck” for the North American market, which is dominated by the Detroit 3 brands. That’s why Mercedes has chosen to focus on the Australian, European, Latin American and South African markets, where mid-size pickups also double as premium lifestyle vehicles.
Mornhinweg didn’t say what volumes Mercedes is expecting for the vehicle but did point out that globally, the mid-size pickup segment sees about 2.3 million sales annually and that most of these are for Toyota products.
CAR goes on to report that the pickup will be badged a “GLT” and that it will offer four- and six-cylinder engines, presumably in gasoline and diesel flavors. There will also allegedly be three different trim levels to choose from, aimed at utility, dual-purpose use and leisure respectively. The report also claims that beyond a standard live rear axle, buyers will be able to opt for independent rear suspension as well as all-wheel drive.
The Mercedes pickup is due to arrive near the end of the decade. A decision on a U.S. launch will be made by the end of this year.