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William Maley

Mercedez Benz News Mercedes-Benz Still Hasn't Decided Whether or Not to Bring Their Pickup to the U.S.

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Last April, then Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon said they wanted the truck that was announced for other markets and said a decision would be reached towards the end of the year. A few months later, Cannon said the decision had been pushed back to sometime in 2016. Now, Cannon's successor says there isn't a timeframe as to a final decision.

 

"It's whenever. 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," said Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA to Automotive News.

 

Exler explained the previous timeframe announcements dealt if they wanted to get the new truck around the same time as other markets.

 

"If we miss the window, then we come a year later," Exler said.

 

This might be a good thing as Exler said it would give them time to make sure the truck is a true Mercedes-Benz model inside and out.

 

To help Mercedes ultimately make a final decision, they are talking with a select group dealers about the truck. Exler mentioned that they could do customer clinics.

 

Already, the owner Mercedes-Benz's largest dealer in the U.S., AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said Mercedes should scrap the plans as it will face a huge challenge against the likes of Ford, GM, and Ram.

 

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)


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I do agree with the AutoNation CEO that sees selling a luxury truck against the established big 3 as not being successful.

 

Plus in looking around, I get the feeling that the dealerships are starting to wake up to the fact that MB is becoming like Chevy or Toyota and losing that LUXURY image.

 

What Cadillac did to itself in the 80's is now coming to haunt MB as people are questioning if MB is a luxury brand or just another big box brand for everyone.

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M-B has average transaction prices that far exceed others in the luxury segment.  The way the E-class and S-class dominate their segments, would suggest that there is no problem with their image.

 

I think MB-USA would rather wait for the final product, and see how it is received elsewhere, and see if there is any demand for it in the USA.  This probably isn't going to be a luxury truck, but a pickup with a Sprinter dash board.  

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The ONLY chance it has at limited sales is if they hype it as a luxury truck, tho that will still flop.

 

I completely believe it'll come here, mercedes canNOT resist another potential revenue stream, but for insiders to admit they have real doubts it must be shaping up to be a real turkey.

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Interesting from a 'rubberneck' POV, IE: look at that disaster, but to bring out an obvious hacksaw job with little tires and a sky-high pass compartment, would be laughed out of MB showrooms. The above isn't even up to India vehicle standards. One would hope MB isn't quite SO desparate.

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That one had a custom bed, regular production Sprinter pickups are more utilitarian..but they could work here for commercial use like the Sprinter van does..

 

sprinter_03_Pickup_960x298.jpg

 

Multimed_Wallpap_05_740x295_de_05-2008.j

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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I don't think Mercedes builds vehicles out of desperation. 

 

The commercial and passenger vehicle divisions are well differentiated and separated. The way they manage to share dealer floor space and yet still not adversely affect their brand says to me that Mercedes has a history of building commercial vehicles. It is a part of their heritage now, unless that part of the business completely tanks there is no reason to get out of it.

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The commercial vehicles are emblemed, grilled, sales reported & sold in the same dealerships as the passenger vehicles. There is no 'differentiation'.

 

Not sure how a sprinter pick-up brings anything new to the segment. I guess the uncommon fleet buyer who has a bunch of vans and needs pick-up or 2 would like to buy all their parts from the same parts counter, but beyond that?

 

Sprinter van rode the recent swell in the 'eurovan' segment, but Ford has completely dominated there now.

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The commercial vehicles are badged, grilled, sales reported & sold in the same dealerships as the passenger vehicles. There is no 'differentiation'.

 

Nothing different than any other manufacturer that has consumer and commercial lines...Ford sells cars, trucks, vans etc in the same dealers...Chevy does,  Nissan does, etc...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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The commercial vehicles are emblemed, grilled, sales reported & sold in the same dealerships as the passenger vehicles. There is no 'differentiation'.

 

Not sure how a sprinter pick-up brings anything new to the segment. I guess the uncommon fleet buyer who has a bunch of vans and needs pick-up or 2 would like to buy all their parts from the same parts counter, but beyond that?

 

Sprinter van rode the recent swell in the 'eurovan' segment, but Ford has completely dominated there now.

 

Their distribution channel strategy definitely does employ the same dealers. 

 

But it's not like you get inside a REAL luxury MB product, like the C-Class and end up saying ,"Wow, I'm amazed,  it drives like a Sprinter."

 

It defies a lot of reasons, but the big thing is that Mercedes has figured out a way, perhaps, that makes it so that their commercial vehicles are completely disregarded when someone is considering buying a passenger car from their dealers

 

The thing is, a lot of Mercedes cars are damn good, especially in terms of what you can get interior-wise, as long as you're willing to pay for it. They're not overtly sporty in the tamer models, but AMG is AMG. 

 

I don't look down upon Mercedes selling commercial vehicles, I really don't because now it's their heritage. If it were Cadillac or Lincoln selling commercial vans, that's where it'd just be stupid and comical.

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If the truck is designed for Latin America, Europe and Middle East, it probably isn't being designed to be a luxury truck.  Which makes me think they would go after the commercial market in the US.  Which is a small market.  But I don't think there is a big market for luxury mid-size trucks either.  

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Cadillac proved they could sell a luxury truck done RIGHT!

 

This is one area I have always disagreed with GM on when they killed off the avalanche / Escalade EXT. Those trucks are rare to find on the used market and people who have them love them.

 

Mercedes could do a luxury truck, but it has to be done right. Half ass will fail and if you do it the way Lincoln did the useless blackwood it will fail.

 

Either you sell it the way Chevy, Ford and Ram does or you do it the way Cadillac did the EXT. No half ass attempts to cover it all like the idiot Nissan full size diesel truck.

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1. Mercedes is probably not doing a luxury truck. Maybe they are, but ultimately this is less of them trying to milk some opportunity. A truck, especially in North America might be a poor fit for the brand. Look at how Hyundai or Kia try to sell luxury sedans. They have their merits...but since there is barely any awareness of those models, they are definitely not upsetting the status quo.  

 

2. The EXT's were not commercial vehicles or intended to be of any kind of commercial vehicles. They were instead marketed to niche truck enthusiasts who wanted slightly more flexibility of the bed/cab access and paid for it elsewhere in terms of overall capability, with the Cadillac offering the luxury brand equivalent . And GMC sells pickup trucks under the luxury banner for GM now, and does it really well. The Denali line itself is probably more profitable than Cadillac given what they sell.

 

3. The Blackwood was the precursor to the luxury pickups of today. It was NOT half-assed as many would believe. It was ultimately just a poor fit for the Lincoln brand. The EXT fell under the same premise. POOR fit for a floundering luxury brands at the time. People did not associate the Lincoln brand with a pickup truck.

 

4, The Nissan truck is actually a thoughtful truck, but it only succeeds in one way. It's numbers don't wow you, but it's one vehicle which you can actually tow or haul the rated numbers and actually feel confident. And fully loaded, it often costs equal or lower to the Detroit 3. It doesn't have the polish, exactly, but it is a serious machine if you use it as a truck a LOT. 

 

5. I don't think anyone really cares that much about the Mercedes truck to truly feel like they are desperate. If any case, whatever brand image Mercedes loses with their stupid or "undesirables" they do make up for by marketing their upper echelon vehicles, where the American brands only fail because of a lack of want/trying/hunger to get to that higher level. 

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If it were Cadillac or Lincoln selling commercial vans, that's where it'd just be stupid and comical.

Why? Cadillac's history offering commercial / professional vehicles goes back 100 years.

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I'm talking about now. This isn't as simple as making a blanket statement. The reasons are are written all over the wall. GM already has 2 different brands selling commercial vehicles. They have partnerships all over the world as well with others to have a commercial presence.

 

Like cubical said, Mercedes is one brand for one world kinda vision.

 

And yes, Cadillac selling commercial vehicles in the near future, when you already have Chevy and GMC and their global partners elsewhere lined up.... would be just a blatant waste of money from the corporate coffers.

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Bottom line...it's not coming here.

 

Another SUV? maybe.

 

Truck-would be a waste of time...we would be looking at a truck closing in on 100k...(considering big 3 can sticker near 60k)

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I'm talking about now. This isn't as simple as making a blanket statement. The reasons are are written all over the wall. GM already has 2 different brands selling commercial vehicles. They have partnerships all over the world as well with others to have a commercial presence.

 

Like cubical said, Mercedes is one brand for one world kinda vision.

 

And yes, Cadillac selling commercial vehicles in the near future, when you already have Chevy and GMC and their global partners elsewhere lined up.... would be just a blatant waste of money from the corporate coffers.

 

Cadillac sells commercial vehicles now...   they sell special livery editions of the Escalade and XTS. 

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Right- a steady stream of commercial & professional vehicles. A Cadillac commercial truck is no different than a mercedes commercial truck.

 

Understand- I am NOT advocating for a Cadillac commercial truck, I think such under the same brand as the luxury brand is counter-productive to the image. Just saying.

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Not in the same way. I mean an Escalade can function as an airport shuttle just like a airport shuttle Ford transit. But that kind of commercial presence is then also covered be MB by say an E-Class taxi  or S-Class or whatever.

 

A commercial Cadillac pickup would fail miserably because if it's based off of say a Chevy Colorado, and if it has no luxury intentions. - READ ME - COMPLETE FAIL.

 

And again, no one has said this Mercedes contraption will be a slam-dunk. if anything, I think it will be of no consequence, and certainly it may not be the kind of truck we expect. It may not have any regular gas engines, just diesel. It may only be extended or single cab. A limited configuration.

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Not in the same way. I mean an Escalade can function as an airport shuttle just like a airport shuttle Ford transit. But that kind of commercial presence is then also covered be MB by say an E-Class taxi  or S-Class or whatever.

You're talking above about commercial USE, not a commercial VEHICLE.

ANY vehicle can pick up passengers, that's not the point.

Edited by balthazar
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