Just a few weeks ago, Mercedes-Benz barged into the automotive world with news of a pickup as a mysterious but enticing future model from the German brand. Rumors of a possible collaboration with Nissan followed, but Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn refused to give any clear details. That speculation is now over, because the automakers made their truck partnership official.

This new information reveals that the Mercedes truck won't be a full in-house creation from Daimler. For example, the pickup will share some of its underpinnings with the latest Nissan NP300 Navara. The German company's engineers, however, will work to change the design to their liking. Also, as in the rendering, Mercedes will use a double-cab body for the model. "Thanks to our well-established partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, we are able to drastically reduce the time and cost to enter this key segment." Daimler Chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche said in the company's release.

Nissan will play a further major role in the project by helping Renault develop a pickup based on the Navara as well. By 2020, all three trucks will be built together in Cordoba, Argentina, for Latin American markets and in Barcelona, Spain, for other parts of the world. Mercedes will target both regular customers and commercial buyers with its truck.

While still not officially slated for North America, there's a chance that the Mercedes truck might be sold here. The US arm of the company reportedly has until the end of the year to decide to offer it with some added luxury-oriented upgrades compared to the rest of the world.
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Daimler & Renault-Nissan Alliance expand cooperation to 1-ton pickup trucks
April 07, 2015

Daimler & Renault-Nissan Alliance expand cooperation to 1-ton pickup trucks

Nissan and Daimler to jointly develop midsize pickup truck

Mercedes-Benz pickup to share some of the architecture with the all-new Nissan NP300

Mercedes-Benz vehicle to be engineered and designed by Daimler to meet specific needs of its customers

Mercedes-Benz pickup will target Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America

Pickup trucks to be built in Barcelona, Spain, and Cordoba, Argentina

Latest milestone in the five-year strategic cooperation between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance


STUTTGART/PARIS/YOKOHAMA –The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG will expand their five-year strategic cooperation into the pickup truck segment.

Together, Nissan and Daimler will develop a 1-ton pickup truck for Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz recently announced its entry into this segment. The Mercedes-Benz pickup will share some of the architecture with the all-new Nissan NP300 but it will be engineered and designed by Daimler to meet the specific needs of its customers. The vehicle will have all of Mercedes Benz' distinctive characteristics and features.

The pickup will feature a double cab and will be targeted both at personal-use and commercial customers. The primary target markets for the truck are Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America.

"Mercedes-Benz is the fastest growing premium brand in the world," said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Entering the rapidly growing segment of midsize pickups is an important step in continuing our global growth path. Thanks to our well-established partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, we are able to drastically reduce the time and cost to enter this key segment."

Nissan is the world's second-biggest 1-ton pickup truck maker and has been building and selling 1-ton pickups for more than 80 years. Since 1933, more than 14 million Nissan 1-ton pickup trucks have been used to transport people and cargo, sometimes in the toughest circumstances. The NP300, sold under the name NP300 Navara and NP300 Frontier (depending on the market), was launched in June 2014 and is currently produced in Thailand and Mexico.

Nissan and Renault are already developing a 1-ton pickup truck for Renault which will also share some common architecture with the Nissan NP300. The truck, which will have a distinctive Renault design, is Renault's first 1-ton pickup truck as well. Production of Renault's 1-ton truck will begin in 2016 at Nissan's plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The 1-ton pickup will mark Renault's second entry into the pickup segment after the launch of a half-ton pickup later this year.

The Mercedes-Benz 1-ton pickup truck will be built by Nissan in the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, along with the Nissan NP300 and the Renault 1-ton truck, for Latin America. The three trucks will also be built in the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, for other markets, excluding North America. Production of the trucks at the two plants will start by the end of the decade.

The Barcelona plant will produce about 120,000 vehicles annually for the three partners, while the Cordoba plant will produce nearly 70,000 vehicles a year. A high parts localization rate is expected to expand the supply bases in Spain and Argentina significantly.

"Thanks to our cooperation with Daimler on this project, we will be able to share the cost of investment at the Cordoba plant, while at the same time open up new markets in the Latin American region for the Renault-Nissan Alliance," said Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan Chairman and CEO. "This project will also allow us to optimize production capacity at the Barcelona plant and enhance our competitiveness in an important segment."

The joint pickup project is the latest milestone in the strategic partnership between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which celebrates its 5th anniversary this month. The strategic cooperation among the three companies began on April 10, 2010. At the time, the scope of the collaboration was limited to three projects primarily focused on Europe. Since then, the combined portfolio shared between Renault-Nissan and Daimler has more than quadrupled to 13 projects in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

"After five years of cooperation between Daimler and Renault-Nissan, my conclusion is by all means positive," Zetsche said. "We have identified and launched many joint projects that create benefits for all partners involved."

"This cooperation is one of the most productive in the auto industry, enabling all partners to increase economies of scale while keeping our brands and products distinct," Ghosn said.

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