SUVs at one time were seen as utility vehicles that could get you through the worst mother nature had on offer. Now SUVs have moved upmarket, becoming a status symbol at the school's parking lot and not tacking some off-road trail. Mercedes-Benz believes something similar could happen with pickup trucks.
"SUVs are elegant lifestyle products with a high-quality finish to them. Not every customer takes them into the wilderness anymore. We believe pickups could go in a similar direction," said Volker Mornhinweg, Mercedes-Benz vans boss to Automotive News.
Mercedes-Benz will soon be launching their first truck, the X-Class in a number of markets. Certain markets such as Europe and South Africa, Mercedes hopes to capture "trend-conscious individuals".
There is a big pitfall to Mercedes' prediction. JATO Dynamics wrote in a research note that the X-Class will face "several challenges" in Europe where many customers see pickup trucks as work vehicles, not something like a daily driver. But that might be changing. As we reported last week, sales of pickup trucks in Europe have been climbing steadily.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)