Mercedes-Benz has announced it will be introducing a ute within the next five years. Say what? Yep, Mercedes wants to have a slice of the very popular tradies segment.
The company will target markets including Latin America, South Africa, parts of Europe, and yes, Australia and New Zealand. The Merc ute will be the first of its kind from a premium manufacturer.
According to the company, the segment is undergoing a major transformation on a global scale, with more and more mid-size utes being used for private use, and a rising demand for car-like specifications. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board at Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars division, said,
“The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets,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.”
To take on the mighty task of developing and producing the new ute, Mercedes has given the assignment to Mercedes-Benz Vans, which is the company’s commercial vehicle sector. It already has decades of experience with work and heavy-duty vehicles. It’s understood Mercedes may also borrow experience from Renault-Nissan as part of the Daimler Renault-Nissan alliance.
Mercedes will begin testing prototypes over the next couple of years in Australia, although it says it has been developing the project for a number of years now. Specific details are still quite distant, however, the new ute will showcase “a high level of utility” while offering “the comfort, safety, and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car”. It’s scheduled to arrive before 2020.
Image: An artist’s impression of what the new ute could look like, by Mercedes-Benz Vans