Mercedes hasn’t made up its mind yet whether it should sell its upcoming pickup truck in United States.
Former Mercedes-Benz USA CEO, Steve Cannon, was supposed to announce a decision regarding a potential U.S. launch of the pickup last year. That was pushed back to mid-2016, but now current CEO Dietmar Exler says a final decision is still up in the air. An announcement will be made “whenever,” with Exler adding “I don't think we do ourselves a favor to come up with a defined timetable. It's more important that we get it right.” He went on to specify the main priority right now is to make the pickup feel like a “true Mercedes inside and out.”
Meanwhile, MB USA is trying to find out whether it would be a smart move to sell the pickup locally. That’s why it is currently talking to a group of dealers across the country to obtain feedback regarding a possible U.S. launch of the Nissan Navara-based model. Mercedes already has an answer from its biggest U.S. dealer, AutoNation. CEO Mike Jackson, revealed recently the so-called “GLT“/ “X-Class” should not make the trip to the United States because it would have to face some very stiff competition from “phenomenal” pickups currently sold by GM, Ford, and FCA.
Expect the Mercedes version to have a significantly different exterior design compared to the Navara to make it worthy of the three-pointed star badge. As for the interior, the rumor mill says there are going to be two versions, a more basic finish aimed at commercial users and an upscale cabin targeting buyers on the look for a posh lifestyle vehicle.
The pickup truck from Daimler will allegedly be previewed in October at the Paris Motor Show by a concept. As for the production version, it will reportedly go on sale in Europe towards the end of 2017. The high-end workhorse has already been confirmed for Australia and like in many other countries, will be sold through the company’s passenger car dealerships, even though the pickup is being developed by Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Don’t hold your breath for a full-blown AMG version because that’s not going to happen. However, Mercedes hinted recently the GLT / X-Class could get an AMG body kit and other similar goodies, like AMG wheels and some interior cabin niceties.