Friday, 27 March 2015

Mercedes-Benz to enter pick-up war

Having seen the success of Ford’s F-Series pick-up trucks, especially the F-150 with its ground-breaking 2.7-litre EcoBoost gasoline engine, Mercedes-Benz has been unable to resist the challenge in aiming to make a ‘better  - but more expensive - mousetrap’.

Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz will expand its product range into this segment by launching the “first pickup from a premium manufacturer”.

Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of around one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential, points out Mercedes-Benz, as if theinformation is unknown to anyone else.

“The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets,” claims Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management Daimler AG.

“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,” he adds without giving a hint of the engine the company will use to entice new customers.

Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, adds: “As part of our ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’ strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model.”

Mercedes-Benz claims the midsize pickup segment is “currently undergoing a transformation worldwide”. More and more pickups are being used for private purposes, and commercial as well as private users are increasingly asking for vehicles that have car-like specifications.

Mercedes-Benz says it is the first premium manufacturer to respond to this market shift by developing its own pickup.

It suggests that a similar example was the successful introduction of the M-Class around 20 years ago. As the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) from a premium manufacturer, the M-Class completely redefined the segment.

The new Mercedes-Benz pickup will initially be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe – which are posting sustained growth in this segment – before taking on the US market.

The Mercedes-Benz Vans division is responsible for the new vehicle. With its many years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and marketing vehicles that are used commercially as well as privately, Mercedes-Benz Vans says it is ideally suited to enter the midsize pickup segment and launch a Mercedes-Benz pickup on the market for the first time in the company’s history.

Current models such as the V-Class and the Vito demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz Vans has the high level of expertise to successfully serve customers from a wide variety of private and commercial sectors.

“We can perfectly serve customers looking for a vehicle that offers a high level of utility and at the same time has the comfort, safety, and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car,” declared Mornhinweg. “We will design our brand’s first pickup according to this recipe for success.”

1 comment:

Alan Bunting said...

A key question is whether Mercedes will be able to make the pick-up price competitive, particularly against Japanese rivals. To do so, the company will have to build it outside Germany. If the US is the main target market, then assembly in Mexico would make sense. Sluggish sales of Volkswagen's similar Amarok in Europe suggest Mercedes would have a comparable struggle to sell its new pick-up against cheaper vehicles from Toyota, Mazda et al.
Disappointing sales of its smallest Renault-cloned Citan van are not encouraging for Mercedes evident attempt to get 'down and dirty' with the mass-producers where price is everything.