According to a recently surfaced report, the German company was considering rebadged versions of the Titan and Frontier pick-up trucks from corporate ally Nissan.
Planned to be on the market before the end of 2016, sources inside Daimler have admitted that Benz would have rebadged a full-sized pickup off the Nissan Titan and a midsize model off the next Nissan Frontier. Inspired by Volkswagen’s success with its Amarok, Daimler negotiated with Nissan to use its truck architectures, complete with chassis, all-wheel-drive systems and suspension systems, though the latter would have received Mercedes-specific tuning.
The pickups were to be Daimler’s most complete transfers from its alliance with Renault-Nissan, but the dramatic expansion fell foul of Benz’s demands for a wide range of engine variants, which Nissan didn’t feel it could engineer the cars to accept. Mercedes-Benz sources said that the two-pickup program would only have worked if it had been allowed to tailor the engines for market demands.
Now, Nissan sources admitted that Mercedes-Benz’s idea for semi-premium pickups is almost certain to be picked up by its in-house premium brand, Infiniti.
The pickups were among Daimler’s planned shortcuts to achieve its target of doubling its sales to two million vehicles annually by 2020. Daimler isn’t abandoning that target with the culling of the pickups, though, with sources pointing to 12 all-new models in the pipeline.