Mercedes-Benz Truck Will Be Based On Nissan Navara
A report in the Wall Street Journal is claiming that Mercedes-Benz’s newest pickup won’t be a home grown effort. The German auto maker is planning on expanding on its alliance with partner Renault-Nissan by using one of their existing pickups as the basis for the Benz.
The talks, which are at an advanced stage, involve using the basic architecture of Nissan’s Navara pickup truck for the new vehicle and producing it in Nissan factories, the people said. Nissan was not immediately available for comment. The Navara is called the Frontier in some markets.
“The details are still being worked out,” one of the people said.
Mercedes-Benz would use the Navara framework, but would provide “everything with which the customer comes in contact,” the person added. That would include the powertrain, the interior, the design and other elements.
While the Navara will provide the basis for the next Nissan Frontier, the two will *not* be similar vehicles. The Frontier, like the Toyota Tacoma, will be a specific vehicle for the NAFTA zone, while the Navara will be aimed at world markets. This further bolsters the notion that the Mercedes truck not only won’t make it to America, but is being built without the U.S. market in mind. Ex post facto regulatory hurdles, as well as the Chicken Tax would likely complicate any efforts to bring it to our market, to the point where it would be economically unfeasible.
In the DNA of this Mercedes Pickup is a little bit of Renault Dauphine. No, really!
This is news? From a Car and Driver blog entry in January 2012: http://blog.caranddriver.com/nissan-and-daimler-to-build-mercedes-four-cylinder-engines-in-the-u-s/ Says the joint "commercial vehicle" (pickup) will be out by 2020. They missed Robert Ryan's Australian connection, though. Oz brains will be required to inflate the payload claims.
If MB didn't think the US would laugh at a badge engineered luxo-clad Frontier, the Chicken tax wouldn't be their weaksauce excuse. How does the Sprinter get here? How did Mazda, Isuzu, Mitsu and others pickups get here? Is the Chicken tax something new? Where's the Frontier made? That's where they would install the leatherette seats and slap on Mercedes badges, grill, etc.
Das ist Marke Hurerei...