Midsize pickup trucks are becoming more popular with American drivers. GM has its Canyon/Colorado twins. Ford says it will introduce a new Ranger in 2018. That has Mercedes pondering whether it, too, would like to join in the midsize pickup truck fun. It is already planning to launch what it calls the X Class — a midsize pickup based on the Nissan Frontier. The Nissan is sold in several world markets under various names, including the Nissan NP 300, Nissan Navarra, and Renault Alaskan.
The head of Mercedes Vans division, Volker Mornhinweg, says, “In the past year the mid-sized truck market has come back a bit. General Motors is launching a mid-sized truck. We are watching developments very closely, and we will take a decision at the appropriate time.” Daimler head Dieter Zetsche said in a press conference last year, “With the Mercedes Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment.”
If Mercedes does decide to go ahead with its pickup plans, it may have to build it in the US for two reasons. One, it may not have enough capacity in its Argentine factory to meet demand. Two, it will have to mollify The Donald, who wants everything sold in America to be made in America, even if most Americans can no longer afford to buy American made goods.
The stylish Mercedes pickup truck will be offered in two trim levels — the Powerful Adventurer and the Stylish Explorer. The first will feature extra ride height for increased ground clearance along with extra protection on the wheel arches, an electric winch at the front, and a metal hook at the back. The genteel Stylish Explorer will have more of an SUV feel to it with cleaner lines, flared wheel arches, and 22″ alloy wheels.
It is unlikely either of those names will make it into American showrooms. Expect something significantly more macho for this re-badged urban cowboy.
Source: Automotive News