Teaser sketch for potential Mercedes-Benz pickup truckEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz’s recent teaser sketch for a new mid-size pickup truck was no April Fools’ Day stunt, with the German automaker since confirming that the vehicle is headed for launch towards the end of the decade as a rival to the likes of the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok. So far, the Mercedes pickup has only been confirmed for the Australian, European, Latin American and South African markets, but there’s still the chance we’ll see it in local showrooms. The U.S. is, after all, the world's biggest market for pickup trucks.
Speaking with Automotive News (subscription required), Mercedes’s U.S. chief Steve Cannon said a decision on local sales of the new pickup will be made by the end of the year, and if given the green light for this market the vehicle would be positioned more as a luxury lifestyle vehicle than a traditional workhorse. In line with this positioning, the vehicle would be sold in all Mercedes dealerships, not just the ones currently offering the automaker’s existing commercial vehicles like the Sprinter and upcoming Metris.
Cannon explained that pickups are popular in some affluent suburbs—with Greenwich, Connecticut getting a mention—and that these vehicles aren’t being used for work purposes. We could certainly imagine a few owners using the truck to tow a boat or trailer.
When quizzed about potential sales volume, Cannon suggested a figure of 10,000 units annually.
As for what will underpin the vehicle, Mercedes has confirmed that it will develop the platform together with alliance partner Renault Nissan, which will use the platform for a next-generation version of its own NP300/Navara model. Renault will also get a pickup based on this platform. All three trucks will be built at a Nissan plant located in Barcelona, Spain, as well as a Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina.
As mentioned above, the Mercedes pickup will be launched towards the end of the decade.