Mercedes-Benz Titan. Mercedes-Benz Frontier. Mercedes-Benz pickup truck. None of these things roll off the tongue particularly well. We'd like to think that's the reason Daimler opted to kill the idea of rebadged Titan and Frontier pickups from corporate ally Nissan. In reality, the execution before the Frankfurt Motor Show was due to more complicated issues.

Yes, Mercedes, byword for German luxury, style and quality, would have slapped a three-pointed star on a pair of Japanese pickup trucks that have failed to resonate with consumers in the world's largest truck market. That slapping of badges isn't much of an exaggeration, at least on the outside. According to the report from Road & Track, the truck's front clip would have been tweaked, but beyond that, the sheetmetal would have been unchanged. The interior would have received a more thorough going-over by the team at Mercedes, while the suspension and noise, vibration and harshness tuning would have also received significant attention.

The trucks would have ended up being sold through the light-commercial branch of Mercedes-Benz - the same folks that will happily sell you a Sprinter van - had the deal gone through. Issues arose, though, first with the engines. Mercedes wanted a wider range of powertrains to allow it to tune models for specific markets, while Nissan said it couldn't engineer the wide variety of engines that MB wanted to drop under the hood. For the smaller truck, meanwhile, MB was interested in a hybrid or plug-in variant, according to R&T, although this was also shot down by Nissan.

Interestingly, the report claims the decision by Mercedes has essentially given the green light to Infiniti, Nissan's premium brand, to engineer a higher-end pickup. No word on if the Infiniti-badged Titan will arrive before or after the next-generation truck debuts, but we'd have to assume the latter.

Mercedes, meanwhile, may not have totally abandoned its truck plans. An unnamed source within Infiniti told the buff book, "We know about their pickup, but as long as they price it more enthusiastically than ours, we don't think it will impact our plans."

Update: Infiniti has issued an official denial of any plans for a pickup truck, with spokesman Kyle Bazemore writing, "Reports that Infiniti might offer a full-size truck based on the next-generation Nissan Titan are wrong. Infiniti has no such plans."


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  • 37 Comments
      Felspawn
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope Nissan-Renault is very careful around Mercedes, next thing you know MB will want to "merge" and you'll have another Chrysler on your hands
      ryanandrewmartin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Weird.
      JD Steel
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wouldn't want a rebadged nissan for a mercedes truck, but I'd still be in line for a mercedes truck, I'd trade my GL450 for a benz truck in a heartbeat if it was up to the mercedes standards.
      Black Dyanmite
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's pretty obvious from this, and the new names of their vehicles, that Infiniti doesn't know what they're doing. BD
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Black Dyanmite
        [blocked]
      zepeda1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mercedes wanted Nissan to engineer a greater number of power plants? Funny, that's what Nissan customers wanted too.
      JaredN
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why would Mercedes want to rebadge the worst pickup truck in the US market?
        Cruising
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JaredN
        Did you not read the article, it's for their light commercial vehicle sales along with the Sprinter van.
          JaredN
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          Did you not read what I wrote: why would Mercedes want to rebadge the WORST pickup truck in the US market? Why would they want their star on that piece of crap that has never been competitive in the pickup market (and likely still won't be when it is refreshed).
          Cruising
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          They figure they are already partnering with Nissan why not just use the truck to since other MB engines and vehicles will be built in Nissan plants. Might not be a good truck but logisticaly makes sense, they could even get a deal on it being partners and all. Look how Chevy using the NV200, available quick rebadge so they can have a offering in the segment.
      john m
      • 1 Year Ago
      Infiniti or Mercedes wants to sell pick ups??? Didn't Lincoln try that? How did that work out for them?
        Cruising
        • 1 Year Ago
        @john m
        Mark LT still in production for Mexico Lincoln's best seller in Mexico. There is a market if done right might not be here but other countries. http://www.lincoln.mx/vehiculos/marklt
          Joe Ransom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          Wow that is an ugly vehicle! Crazy what a hood/grille pkg can do to an F150 platinum
          wrestleprocbt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          I think it could have done well but never seemed to be marketed well and really looked too much like it's sibling. Without significant differentiation as well as marketing and letting people know it's out there and how it's different from other trucks, one would only assume it's just another option pkg for the F150. It looked good but guess not good enough.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Cruising
        • 1 Year Ago
        The Mark LT is still being sold in Mexico it's Lincoln's most popular seller in Mexico. The Blackwood was useless except for towing they turned the bed into essentially a trunk.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          [blocked]
        thatitaliankid321
        • 1 Year Ago
        the Mark LT isnt a flop in mexico...
      EJD1984
      • 1 Year Ago
      My first response is WTF?! But Cadillac has been fairly successful with the Escalade EXT. Now just waiting for an official Jeep Limousine
        express2day
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EJD1984
        Fairly successful if annual sales of around 2,000 the last few years can be considered successful. The Escalade EXT isn't nearly as popular as it was 10+ years ago and sales have been in decline since. Lincoln Mark LT sales were more than twice recent EXT numbers the year it was discontinued in the U.S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EJD1984
        [blocked]
      Eta Carinae
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can someone tell me who diluted mercedes benz really is ?!? It seems like they have joint ventures with everyone......
        sjmoo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Eta Carinae
        It's not that unusual, really. Mercedes-Benz has Nissan-Renault just as BMW has Toyota. Likewise, Mercedes-Benz has just bought a minority stake in Aston-Martin. Not at all different from how the BMW-Rolls-Royce relationship first started. These are small German companies. They need help offsetting development costs and these partnerships are a way to do that. Whether or not they are a good idea is an entirely different issue, but they make good business sense in the short term.
      Mike J
      • 1 Year Ago
      First the Titan was to be a rebadge Dodge Ram. Now it maybe an infinity. I am not sure in what market this will work. Cadillac was the only one who made this work and it was because of the escalade. I may suggest going the Ford route, and build a premium Nissan truck and call it a day!
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      I look forward to seeing these 10 years down the line gracing the streets of the "ghetto" neighborhoods on 22's.
        Dwight Bynum Jr.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Scooter
        You DO realize that 22s aren't exactly "large" or "ghetto" on fullsize trucks anymore... right? In fact, they've come from the factory on Denalis and Escalades for years now. Had you said 30s or higher, you'd be a bit more accurate.
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