The news keeps on coming with the Mercedes pickup. This time, it’s an official statement from the automaker in regards to an alliance with Renault-Nissan. The two will collaborate in designing and building both the yet-unnamed Mercedes truck and the next-generation Nissan NP300.

You read that right. The Mercedes pickup will share its architecture with Nissan. This won’t be an exercise in badge engineering, however. Mercedes promises its truck will be specially engineered and designed by Daimler to meet its customers’ expectations and needs.

Mercedes does confirm the truck will be offered as a “double cab,” or crew cab as it’s known in the U.S. The pickup will target both commercial and personal-use customers in the already-announced regions of Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Latin America. However, as we just reported, Mercedes USA boss Steve Cannon just announced the truck might be headed for North America as well.

The partnership between the two automakers dates back five years, with project beginning in Europe. Now the pair have announced both the Nissan and Mercedes trucks will be built in plants in Cordoba, Argentina and Barcelona, Spain, with the costs being shared between the two. Together these two plants will crank out some 190,000 trucks annually.

Like the Mercedes truck, Nissan’s new truck will feature its own design. Depending on region, the truck will continue under the NP300 Navara and NP300 Frontier nomenclature. Adding fuel to the flame, Nissan could potentially use this same truck design in its U.S.-spec Frontier. That makes perfect sense considering both the Nissan and Mercedes trucks would have to pass U.S. crash-test and emissions regulations. If those regulations are already incorporated into the truck’s design for Nissan, that might make Mercedes’ decision to enter the U.S. truck market that much easier. What’s more, Nissan likely has the capability to build both trucks in its Canton, Mississippi assembly plant.

Continue reading to learn more about Mercedes-Benz’s future pickup truck.

Why it matters

Regarding the stated facts, this alliance between Mercedes and Renault-Nissan will be critical to both the Nissan and Mercedes trucks’ designs and construction. Sharing these development costs will help keep the projects well-funded, hopefully leading to outstanding products.

What’s more, Nissan is already planning a larger truck based on the Mercedes/NP300 design. It will be a one-ton truck badged as a Renault and sold Globally – save for North America, of course.

Now regarding the speculation that Nissan and Mercedes will enter the U.S. market together with a co-designed Frontier/Mercedes truck, the partnership would only serve to help both parties involved, allowing costs to be shared. That’s especially true in preparation for passing the U.S.’ strict crash-test and emissions regulations. And like I mentioned in the article above, having Nissan build both trucks in its Canton, Mississippi plant seems like the perfect win-win scenario for both automakers.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out.

2020 Mercedes-Benz Pickup Truck

2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class Exclusive Renderings
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Press Release

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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