Mercedes-Benz has stated that its upcoming double-cab pickup will be the product of a joint development plan between itself and Nissan, and will share some of its architecture with the new Navara.
As previously reported the Mercedes pickup will be aimed at both commercial and leisure-use customers in a number of global markets, including South Africa.
Although Renault-Nissan-Daimler has confirmed that Mercedes’s pickup will share a good deal of its architecture with the new Nissan Navara, the company has also stated that it will be engineered by Daimler to meet the needs and expectations of Mercedes clientele.
“Mercedes-Benz is the fastest growing premium brand in the world,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Entering the rapidly growing segment of midsize pickups is an important step in continuing our global growth path. Thanks to our well-established partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, we are able to drastically reduce the time and cost to enter this key segment.”
The Mercedes pickup will be built by Nissan in the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, along with the Nissan Navarra and a related Renault pickup destined for Latin America. The three trucks will also be built in the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, for other markets, excluding North America. Production of the trucks at the two plants will start by the end of the decade.
The Barcelona plant will produce about 120 000 vehicles annually for the three partners, while the Cordoba plant will produce nearly 70 000 vehicles a year.
“Thanks to our cooperation with Daimler on this project, we will be able to share the cost of investment at the Cordoba plant, while at the same time open up new markets in the Latin American region for the Renault-Nissan Alliance,” said Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan Chairman and CEO. “This project will also allow us to optimise production capacity at the Barcelona plant and enhance our competitiveness in an important segment.”
The joint pickup project is the latest milestone in the strategic partnership between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which celebrates its 5th anniversary this month. Asia and the Americas.
“After five years of cooperation between Daimler and Renault-Nissan, my conclusion is by all means positive,” Zetsche said. “We have identified and launched many joint projects that create benefits for all partners involved.”
Mercedes-Benz director of design, brands and operations, Kai Sieber, described the company’s upcoming pickup as adhering to the concept of “rough luxury”, and while Nissan pickup underpinnings certainly comply with the former term there will no doubt be some consternation over the ‘luxury’ proviso of the Mercedes pickup that the Nissan connotation potentially suggests – especially from those expecting a purpose-built model in a similar vein to the VW Amarok.