The German company says it will mainly target Latin America, South Africa and Europe, but Australia will also play a key role. Mercedes has set up an official base of operations there and local testing will begin within a year. Australia holds huge potential for pickup truck 4WD offerings.
“The mid-size pick-up segment is currently undergoing a transformation worldwide. More and more pick-ups are being used for private purposes, and commercial as well as private users are increasingly asking for vehicles that have car-like specifications,” Mercedes said.
Basically, people are buying trucks as a lifestyle choice, a statement, not just to use as work vehicles. This is something we think Hyundai has also noticed, as the Korean carmaker recently presented a concept truck called the Santa Cruz at the Chicago Auto Show in America.
Which kind of brings us to a very important question: is Mercedes really making the first premium pickup? We think the answer is "no" because let's not forget that up until a few years ago, the Cadillac Escalade EXT was sold as a truck in America. We could also argue that the Ram 1500 has a lot of car-like features when fully equipped and so does the 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Premium.
But a truck undoubtedly opens up a new chapter for the Mercedes-Benz brand. The chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars division, Dieter Zetsche claims all the attributes normally associated with the brand will be kept, including safety, comfort, powertrains and value.
But considering this is a project from the commercial vehicles division, we're expecting more like a VW Amarok rival equipped with a diesel engine than an AMG model with a V8.