The third largest premium automaker in the world, Mercedes-Benz, recently announced its commercial vans division would take charge and introduce a mid-sized pickup truck before the decade’s end.
The German automaker so far only confirmed the new design would be targeted towards certain markets, such as the European continent, Latin America, Australia and South Africa. Naturally, speculation immediately rose about the model’s possible introduction to the US market, even as the size of the model would keep it below the profitable segment dominated by the Detroit three offerings – the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500. Now, according to a Mercedes-Benz USA top executive, the company will approve or deny the introduction of the upcoming pickup on the US market by the year’s end. “We said to Stuttgart, ‘We are open, and let us assess the market,'” comments Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. “If that leads to us saying ‘green light,’ then we will bring it.” Also, if the model gets approved for US distribution, it would not come through the commercial vehicles division.
Instead, the local unit of Mercedes-Benz would promote it as a premium passenger vehicle, selling it through the entire network of 372 dealers (the commercial vehicle network only has 257 dealerships). The pickup was announced late last month by Mercedes’ parent company Daimler AG and Cannon says officially it was approved without US implication. But the executive adds that if Mercedes-Benz USA makes a decision before 2016, the pickup will have enough development time to be also homologated and developed to meet US crash test standards, as the official introduction is only expected around 2020.
Via Automotive News