Before you get too excited to drive a pickup with the brand's famous star on the grille, there's some disappointing news. Mercedes is quite clear that the US isn't among the intended markets for the midsize truck, and the company specifically outlines the model for Latin America, South Africa, Australia and Europe.
Also, this is a product being developed by the more commercially-minded Mercedes-Benz Vans division responsible for the Sprinter and upcoming Metris. With that in mind, don't expect the interior of an S-Class with a bed in the rear. In fact, at the moment Mercedes isn't giving away many details about its truck, although the company suggests a payload capacity of around 2205 pounds.
Inciting this development is the current boom in the midsize truck segment. We're seeing that happen with models like the latest Ford Ranger, the next Toyota Hilux (in development) and a future FCA vehicle. "As part of our 'Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global' strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model," division boss Volker Mornhinweg said in the brand's announcement.
Rumblings of a possible Mercedes pickup came up years ago as a possible partnership with Nissan, but those reportedly would have been badge-engineered models. This latest truck appears to be something wholly Mercedes. "We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains and value," said company boss Dieter Zetsche.
Stuttgart, Mar 27, 2015
Expansion of product range for sustained global growth
Market for midsize pickups primed for first model from a premium manufacturer
Mercedes-Benz to enter the high-volume midsize segment before end of decade
Main markets: Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe
Stuttgart – Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz will expand its product range into a promising segment by launching the first pickup from a premium manufacturer. Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of about one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential.
"The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. "We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and value."
Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, adds: "As part of our 'Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global' strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model."
A promising segment with global scope
The midsize pickup segment is currently undergoing a transformation worldwide. More and more pickups are being used for private purposes, and commercial as well as private users are increasingly asking for vehicles that have car-like specificiations. Mercedes-Benz is the first premium manufacturer to respond to this market shift by developing its own pickup. A similar example was the successful introduction of the M-Class around 20 years ago. As the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) from a premium manufacturer, the M-Class completely redefined the segment.
The new Mercedes-Benz pickup will initially be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe, all of which are posting sustained growth in this segment.
Mercedes-Benz Vans: Center of competence for commercially and privately used vehicles
The Mercedes-Benz Vans division is responsible for the new vehicle. With its many years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and marketing vehicles that are used commercially as well as privately, Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideally suited to enter the midsize pickup segment and launch a Mercedes-Benz pickup on the market for the first time in the company's history. Current models such as the V-Class and the Vito demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz Vans has the high level of expertise to successfully serve customers from a wide variety of private and commercial sectors.
"We can perfectly serve customers looking for a vehicle that offers a high level of utility and at the same time has the comfort, safety, and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car," says Mornhinweg. "We will design our brand's first pickup according to this recipe for success."