Mercedes-Benz to launch midsize bakkie in South Africa
Bakkies in the South African sense of the word either come from America or Japan. Anything else than a Hilux, Ranger (nowadays BT should be written seperately) or KB does not quite live up to it.
Then came the Amarok, and mindsets shifted - the Germans have done it!
Now Mercedes-Benz, arguably the world's top luxury car manufacturer, is getting all the attention thanks to the Germans' first proper bakkie.
Illustration © Mark Stehrenberger, www.pickuptrucks.com
South Africa one of the main markets for the Mercedes-Benz of bakkies
- Expansion of product range for sustained global growth
- Market for midsize pickups primed for first model from a premium manufacturer
- Mercedes-Benz to enter the high-volume midsize segment before
end of decade
- Main markets: Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe
Stuttgart - Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz will expand its product range into a promising segment by launching the first pickup from a premium manufacturer. Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of about one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential.
"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."
The new Mercedes-Benz pickup will initially be targeted at markets in South Africa, Latin America, Australia, and Europe - all of which are posting sustained growth in this segment.
Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa
Says Nicolette Lambrechts, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa: "This is a really exciting time for Vans. This will give Mercedes-Benz Vans the opportunity to reach a whole new customer in an entirely new segment. For Mercedes-Benz South Africa this gives us the ability to offer the customer the entire spectrum of products to suit not only their business needs but also cater for their lifestyle requirements - from a car, van, truck, bus and now the pickup."
A promising segment with global scope
The midsize pickup segment is currently undergoing a transformation worldwide. More and more pickups are being used for private purposes, and commercial as well as private users are increasingly asking for vehicles that have car-like specificiations. Mercedes-Benz is the first premium manufacturer to respond to this market shift by developing its own pickup. A similar example was the successful introduction of the M-Class around 20 years ago. As the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) from a premium manufacturer, the M-Class completely redefined the segment.
The new Mercedes-Benz pickup will initially be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe, all of which are posting sustained growth in this segment.
Mercedes-Benz Vans: Center of competence for commercially and privately used vehicles
The Mercedes-Benz Vans division is responsible for the new vehicle. With its many years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and marketing vehicles that are used commercially as well as privately, Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideally suited to enter the midsize pickup segment and launch a Mercedes-Benz pickup on the market for the first time in the company's history. Current models such as the V-Class and the Vito demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz Vans has the high level of expertise to successfully serve customers from a wide variety of private and commercial sectors.
"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 will design our brand's first pickup according to this recipe for success."