Premium expected by 2018.
A shock announcement has revealed Mercedes-Benz has been secretly working on a mid-size pickup for years and will unleash a production utility on the Australian market before the end of the decade. As an obvious key sales market, Australia will be used for product testing over the next couple of years, with Mercedes claiming the upcoming ute will be the “first pick-up from a premium manufacturer.” In order to make inroads into the Australian market, Mercedes sees building a pickup as essential.
Four utes were in the top 10 cars sold here last year with the Toyota HiLux the second most popular vehicle. “We’ve been pushing for this for some years, it’s now across the line and we can’t wait,” said Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman David McCarthy. “Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of about one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential," the German carmaker revealed in a press release. Other markets for the premium pickup include Europe, South Africa and Latin America. The Mercedes Vans division will develop the pickup, but there’s no indication as to what it will be based on.
Head of Mercedes' car division, Dieter Zetsche said “The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets. We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and value.”