More evidence shows Mercedes’ impending entry into the pickup category

By now you’ve undoubtedly heard Mercedes-Benz is partnering with Nissan to build a midsize pickup truck for the global market. Well, a leaked product release schedule shows the pickup slotted for the 2017 model year. There’s not much else to go on, but the information is certainly suggesting Mercedes is whole-heartedly diving into the pickup segment.

This is only the latest piece of information regarding the upcoming truck. Spy shots have captured heavily camouflaged trucks on two different occasions. The test mule pickups show just how closely Mercedes is working with Nissan. Both share a design that’s obviously Nissan, though the Mercedes version will be wider, more luxurious, and powered by Mercedes engines.

The biggest unknown is whether Mercedes will release the pickup (rumored to be called the GLT) in the U.S. Mercedes has confirmed the truck will debut for Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Latin America. Trucks sent to these areas will be more utilitarian in nature, just as its direct competitors from Ford and Toyota.

If Mercedes does bring the GLT to the U.S., we expect it to create a new high-end, luxury sub-set in the compact pickup segment. GMC technically will beat Mercedes with the upcoming 2017 Canyon Denali, but Mercedes could debut the GLT for the 2017 model year. There is still time left. Our bet, however, is for a 2018 model year release.

Pricing is still a deep mystery, but expect the GLT to carry a base price of no less than $45,000. That secures its position above the other midsize trucks in the segment, save for the GMC Canyon Denali.

So, could Mercedes’ new pickup start a whole new category – premium midsize trucks? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Why It Matters

A Mercedes-branded pickup built with luxury in mind would undoubtedly do well in the U.S. Consider how well the high-end full-size pickup market is doing these days. There’s the Ford F-150 Limited and Platinum models, the Chevrolet Silverado High Country, the Ram Laramie and Laramie Limited, and of course GMC’s Denali lineup. Now picture the same thing in the midsize category. It could turn into a lucrative sub-segment.

I imagine many Mercedes GLTs in the U.S. would find homes with customers who already own Mercedes products. These are the types who want something more rugged than their GLC or GLE – something they can throw their Yeti cooler into after a day of offshore fishing on their 42-foot Yellowfin. For the rest of the customers, the GLT (or whatever Mercedes names it) will be a status symbol. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

What do you think?
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