Indecisive timetables yet green-light still looking good

Mercedes-Benz USA’s new CEO Dietmar Exler has an apparent apathy towards bringing the Mercedes pickup to the U.S. in a timely manner. The news comes from Exler’s recent conversation with Automotive News in which he spoke candidly about the truck’s timetable.

“It’s whenever,” he said. “I don’t think we do ourselves a favor to come up with a defined timetable. It’s more important that we get it right.”

While Exler’s words seem a bit – well, lazy – on the surface, he does make an excellent point about ensuring the pickup is executed correctly. Mercedes USA’s previous CEO, Steve Cannon, had said decisions on the pickup would be made in 2015. Then the following January, Mercedes-Benz global sales chief Ola Kaellenius pointed to the decision being made in 2016.

It’s now Exler’s voice which rings loudest, basically saying the truck will come to market when it’s ready, and not a moment before. “If we miss the window, then we come a year later,” he said. His goal is making sure the pickup is “a true Mercedes inside and out,” rather than meeting a deadline.

While we can certainly appreciate the attention to detail, the midsize truck market is currently ablaze with new models. Granted, Ford’s upcoming Ranger has yet to debut, but the market could peak, making a midsize pickup contender somewhat less vogue.

Timetables aside, these comments from Exler seem to reinforce rumors of Mercedes’ entry into the midsize pickup segment.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Mercedes’ entry into the midsize truck segment would certainly cause waves. As it sits, only the GMC Canyon Denali could compete with anything Mercedes releases, giving the German automaker a huge advantage in attracting wealthier clients looking for an alternative to a high-end SUV, crossover, or full-size truck. Remember, the Mercedes truck, rumored to be called the X-Class, will be aimed at offering respectable towing and hauling capabilities, but with a greater focus on passenger comfort, technology, and class.

You’ll also recall Mercedes has partnered with Nissan to co-develop the pickup. While the vehicles will share plenty of mechanical and structural components, the Mercedes version will have its own styling and posh interior treatments. That will be especially true if the truck actually does debut inside the U.S. Elsewhere in the world, the pickup will be aimed more at the commercial segment, competing against trucks like the Toyota Hilux and Ford’s global Ranger. The pickup will complete Mercedes’ lineup of commercial vehicles, which already includes various vans and transport trucks.

2020 Mercedes-Benz Pickup Truck

2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class Exclusive Renderings
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Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Pickup Truck here.

Source: Automotive News

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