Mercedes-Benz is set to make an official announcement regarding details of its first ever 'pick-up truck' later this month. The information was revealed as part of a press conference between Daimler and Renault-Nissan - the two alliance partners working on the project - at the Paris Motor Show.
Built atop the underpinnings of the current Nissan NP300 Navara, the new Mercedes-Benz ute has undergone an engineering program at the hands of Mercedes-Benz to tailor it to the specific needs needs of customers in Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America.
Production of the Mercedes-Benz ute will take place at Renault’s plant in Cordoba, Argentina, alongside the Alaskan, Renault’s own variant of the Navara. European customers will also get the Navara from this plant, whereas Australia’s Navara is built in Thailand.
Mercedes-Benz promises that its version of the Navara will carry distinct features and characteristics of the brand, hinting that the Mercedes-Benz ute - which may wear the GLT name - could be more comprehensively redesigned than the Alaskan which is little more than a new nose grafted into the existing Navara.
Discussing the ongoing alliance between the two companies, Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “Over the last seven years we’ve established a partnership that extends from parts to platforms, from co-development to co-production and from cars to commercial vehicles. And we did so in project-oriented, diverse teams that share competences across continents.”
The alliance between Renault-Nissan and Daimler also includes the supply of a Mercedes-Benz engine for use in the Infiniti Q50, and the platform, engine, and transmission of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and GLA family of vehicles, which underpins the Infiniti Q30 and QX30 compact SUV range.
When the Mercedes-Benz ute arrives it is expected to follow the lead set by Benz vans, meaning a range of vehicles from pure workhorses, to more upscale offerings expected to incorporate some of the features from Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.
As with the van range, a high performance AMG variant isn’t expected to form part of the line-up, however in 2015 Mercedes-Benz Australia’s senior PR manager, David McCarthy suggested to TMR that the door remained open for such a variant to be added in the future.