Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon says the brand has until the end of the year to decide whether to bring its upcoming midsize pickup truck to the United States.
"We said to Stuttgart, 'We are open, and let us assess the market.' If that leads to us saying 'green light,' then we will bring it," Cannon said to Automotive News.
Mercedes-Benz Vans is leading the pickup's development, and the company's official announcement said the truck's intended markets are Latin America, South Africa, Australia and Europe. The vehicle is expected to launch by 2020. The company might take advantage of some of Nissan's truck expertise on the project, but that's not decided yet, according to Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
However, if the Mercedes pickup makes it to the US, it wouldn't be the same utility-oriented model as for the rest of the world. Instead, Cannon indicates that the truck would be adapted to fill a more luxurious role in the lineup and wouldn't be limited to dealers that sell vans. "For a Mercedes-Benz household that has a lot of stuff or a lot of kids or they want to tow the boat - we could offer something to customers who are already luxury-predisposed," he said to Automotive News.
Keep in mind none of this is set in stone, and Mercedes doesn't have to offer the model here because "officially it was approved without US volume," Cannon said to Automotive News. He thinks the truck would be a niche vehicle and sales might only be around 10,000 units a year. With pickups among the leading segments in transactions over $50,000 in the US, the market could still be the right fit for the traditionally high-end German brand.