Mercedes-Benz has just announced it will build a midsize pickup truck by 2020. Yes, you read that correctly – Mercedes will build a pickup. But before you get all excited with thoughts of a well-appointed Chevy Colorado competitor, the German automaker is quick to point out its new addition will be targeted at Latin America, South America, Australia, and Europe.

What’s more, the planed truck will expand Mercedes commercial reach; a road already paved with its Sprinter and upcoming Mertis vans. Though the trucks will be available for private use as well, the trucks won’t likely cater to that market like U.S. pickups do with leather-lined cabins and luxurious price tags.

Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, says: "As part of our ’Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’ strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model."

So in Mornhinweg’s own words, the pickup will almost act like an expansion of the Mercedes van line. However, Mercedes won’t skimp out on “car-like specifications” within is cabin. Mercedes’ official announcement states the global demand for pickups is growing with more consumers using pickups for private purposes.

I suspect the truck will land somewhere between the more utilitarian Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux and the posh SUVs the brand is used to building. Sure, the truck will have all the usual electronic gadgets, but don’t expect Alcantara or AMG-quality materials. This will be a workin’ man’s truck.

Admittedly the sketch above suggests otherwise, looking more like a GLE with the rear cut off, but the sketch is obviously an early one and not really in line with Mercedes’ official statement. Either way, the world is about to get a Mercedes truck. Except North America, that is.

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

Why it matters

It’s hard to blame Mercedes for jumping on the midsize truck bandwagon. It’s a growing and profitable segment. That’s true for most of the world, perhaps even more so outside the U.S. where these smaller trucks are more useful than our larger, half-ton trucks thanks to tight roads and compact infrastructure.

The world might be surprised when Mercedes rolls out the concept version of this truck and it doesn’t come with an S-Class interior. I say expect something more like the Volkswagen Amarok. It’s decently appointed and well designed, but it’s no Audi.

But whatever the outcome, it’s a great day for truck fans.

Press Release

Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz will expand its product range into a promising segment by launching the first pickup from a premium manufacturer. Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of about one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential.

“The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets,” says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. “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.”

Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, adds: “As part of our ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’ strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model.”

A promising segment with global scope

The midsize pickup segment is currently undergoing a transformation worldwide. More and more pickups are being used for private purposes, and commercial as well as private users are increasingly asking for vehicles that have car-like specificiations. Mercedes-Benz is the first premium manufacturer to respond to this market shift by developing its own pickup. A similar example was the successful introduction of the M-Class around 20 years ago. As the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) from a premium manufacturer, the M-Class completely redefined the segment.

The new Mercedes-Benz pickup will initially be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe, all of which are posting sustained growth in this segment.

Mercedes-Benz Vans: Center of competence for commercially and privately used vehicles

The Mercedes-Benz Vans division is responsible for the new vehicle. With its many years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and marketing vehicles that are used commercially as well as privately, Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideally suited to enter the midsize pickup segment and launch a Mercedes-Benz pickup on the market for the first time in the company’s history. Current models such as the V-Class and the Vito demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz Vans has the high level of expertise to successfully serve customers from a wide variety of private and commercial sectors.

“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 Mornhinweg. “We will design our brand’s first pickup according to this recipe for success.”

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