When you think of pickups, Mercedes-Benz isn’t the first automaker that comes to mind. But that could soon change. The automaker says it will launch its first ever pickup truck by 2020. It’s even released an artist’s rendition of what it will look like.
Mercedes-Benz will reportedly target European, Latin American, Australian and South African markets for its first truck offering. It’s still considering whether to sell the mid-size pickup here in the U.S., but the market is growing here, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen at some point.
On its press release, the automaker says it will enter the mid-size truck market by the end of the decade. The pickup will have about 1 metric ton of payload capacity and will be built by its commercial-van division.
“The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said. “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.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Mercedes is in talks to work with Nissan on the project. The idea is that Mercedes-Benz could use the basic architecture of Nissan’s Navara pickup truck, which is called the Frontier in some markets, for the new vehicle. While it would use Nissan’s framework, everything else would all Mercedes, including the powertrain, interior, and “everything with which the customer comes in contact.”
Mercedes is reportedly going to build two models, a luxury version with leather interior and chrome furnishings and then a tougher workhorse version. Both will get the MercedesMe infotainment system.
“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 Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans said in the company’s statement. “We will design our brand’s first pickup according to this recipe for success.”
Mercedes, of course, isn’t without truck experience. The automaker’s off-roading G-Class was first developed as a military vehicle. But this effort is decidedly different and could be the start of a larger consumer truck operation in the future. However, at least for now, the automaker is dismissing speculation that its planning to offer a larger, full-size, truck in North America, citing that the segment is already dominated by Ford, GM and Chrysler Ram.