I had to read the date a couple of times when I saw the headline. Stories that seem even slightly unbelievable at this time of year often catch vulnerable folks off guard if they don’t keep a keen eye on the calendar.
On April First of each year, car websites love to see how far they can push the limits of reality as they come up with stories later revealed as April Fools’ jokes.
But the story I read was published prior to April 1. Here it is late March, and news is spreading that Mercedes-Benz will build a pickup.
What could this mean?
Well, obviously it means that Mercedes will build a truck. There are three very important things to keep in mind with this news, however:
- The truck likely won’t come to the U.S. market.
- In other parts of the world, Mercedes is as well known for its commercial vehicles as for its luxury ones.
- The truck is still 4 or 5 years away from being in showrooms.
People in the United States hear news of a Benz truck and immediately conjure images of a technology-laden luxury machine. People in the rest of the world, however, hear about a Benz truck and imagine a capable work machine stripped down to handle tough jobs.
So which will it be?
The truck will be produced and sold by the same division that makes Mercedes work vans, but Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said in a statement:
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…. We will design our brand’s first pickup according to this recipe for success.
It sounds like the odds of a luxury midsize pickup from Mercedes are pretty good.
The competition in the U.S. truck market is fierce, and the midsize segment is seeing a resurgence thanks to the re-introduction of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon twins. If the rest of the world makes this new truck a success, maybe Mercedes will be convinced to enter the market and give those of us in North America a taste of how Benz does pickups.
Would a luxury truck from Mercedes-Benz win buyers in the United States?