Mercedes-Benz ute confirmed. Will come to Australia
Mercedes-Benz has announced it will launch a ute before the end of the decade, and it will be coming to Australia. It wil also be developed in conjunction with the local operation.
MERCEDES-BENZ IS making no bones about its decision to build a pickup, or ute as we prefer to call them, saying it’s all about money. “The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets,” says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division.
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.”
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.”
Normally, Australia is almost never mentioned in global press releases due to our small sales market, but where utes/pickups are concerned Australia is a key market “posting sustained growth in this segment”, with Mercedes-Benz saying along with Europe, South Africa, and South America we’ll definitely get the Merc ute.
Last year Australians bought almost 200,000 light commercial vehicles, which accounted for almost 20% of the entire new car market. With the Toyota HiLux finishing 2014 as the third best-selling vehicle in the country, so, the potential for the Mercedes pickup is huge. Well, as long as the pricing and servicing is correct.
The new vehicle will be produced by the Mercedes-Benz van division. “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,” says Mornhinweg. We also had confirmation from a Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman that the local operation is, and will be involved in development and that the vehicle will compete in the Hilux, Ranger, Amarok segment.
Beyond this Mercedes-Benz is remaining tight-lipped over what we can expect from its new vehicle, but if the sketch is anything to go by it’s going to look pretty special.
Let’s hope it’s full-time 4WD, coil springs all round, more than one tonne of payload and with all the toughness Mercedes-Benz is known for with its legendary Unimog and G-Wagen! Don’t forget that Mercedes supply the ADF with their light 4X4 needs, so they know a thing or two about this market, although this new design wouldn’t be based on the aging G-Wagen platform.