Well Mercedes-Benz we didn’t know you could be so colorful! In an interview with Car magazine, the chief of Mercedes-Benz Vans did his best to put a stop to talk about the automaker developing a full-size truck to take on Detroit’s Big Three. In fact, Volker Mornhinweg put it like this, “We are not going to develop a fat cowboy truck for North America.”
In March, Mercedes-Benz announced its Vans division is working on its first pick-up, a double-cab 1-ton edition rumored to be called the GLT. But the key word here is mid-size. Mornhinweg says Mercedes-Benz knows that’s the segment to focus current efforts on, because the large truck market is a big mountain to climb.
“After all, the big three – Ford, GM/GMC and Ram – already own about 90% of that market which typically absorbs in excess of two million units per year, ” Mornhinweg said. “In this cut-throat environment, newcomers like us would invariably fight an arduous uphill battle. That’s why our focus is on a smaller and lighter pick-up truck which is already perceived as premium product in South America, Africa and the Middle East.”
Mercedes Vans isn’t going it alone on its first truck endeavor. As we reported in March, it’s getting to help from Nissan. It will borrow some of the architecture with the all-new Nissan NP300, which isn’t sold in the U.S., but the exterior and interior design along with the engine will be all Mercedes.
‘The customers out there are waiting for the Mercedes among the mid-size pick-ups,’ Mornhinweg told CAR. ‘We shall give them exactly what they ask for: impeccable fit and finish, top-notch safety and comfort, excellent vehicle dynamics and state-of-the-art connectivity. Yes, our vehicle looks plain and simple. But it is highly functional, it offers best-in-class passenger space in row two, the ergonomics leave nothing to be desired, and the materials used clearly exceed typical pick-up standards.”
While the Mercedes pickup looks like its bound everywhere but North America, there’s always a chance it could head our way.
According to Automotive News, Mercedes-Benz U’s U.S. sales arm is considering whether to sell a version of the pickup in North America. During the New York Auto Show, Steve Cannon, head of the Mercedes-Benz USA said “it wouldn’t come until, at the earliest, the ’18, ’19 time frame,” he said. “We’ve got time to look at the market and decide.”
So stay tuned.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz Vans