Mercedes-Benz: Our Pickup Won’t Be a Fat Cowboy Truck

Well, now we know what the brass at Mercedes-Benz thinks of U.S. pickups. Speaking to Georg Kacher for Car Magazine , former AMG boss Volker Mornhinweg, who is currently in charge of Mercedes van division and thus the pickup project, explains that the Benz truck will not mix it up with the American haulers: We re not going to develop a fat cowboy truck for North America, he s quoted as saying.

How s them for fightin words? Evidently that means Mercedes-Benz won t build a pickup like this, or this, or this. As Mornhinweg correctly points out: . . .

the Big Three Ford, GM, and Ram already own about 90 percent of that market . . . newcomers like us would invariably fight an arduous uphill battle. Instead, the Mercedes-Benz pickup, which is expected to take the name GLT, will be a smaller, lighter entry, based on the Nissan NP300 Navara.

Mornhinweg claims such a vehicle is already perceived as a premium product in South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Don t take that to mean, however, that the pickup won t come to North America. The truck is being considered for our market, and Mercedes is particularly eying Nissan s Mexican plant for assembly, which would allow it to be sold in the U.S.

without tariffs. Like the NP300 (which is likely to be our next Frontier), the Mercedes will use a ladder frame and be offered in a single, four-door cab configuration. Expect Benz to offer four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic, and 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

A live rear axle will be standard, but buyers will be given the option of a independent rear suspension. The customers out there are waiting for the Mercedes among the mid-size pickups, Mornhinweg said. We ll see if he s right when the GLT arrives in late 2018 or early 2019.

Portly cowpokes, however, need not apply.

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Mercedes-Benz: Our Pickup Won’t Be a Fat Cowboy Truck

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