Demand in Australia for pick-ups is so strong, Mercedes has taken the unprecedented step of airfreighting a display car Down Under to give buyers an early preview – and also get their feedback from Australian tradesmen and fleets on what they want in a workhorse.
Pick-ups are very popular in Australia (as they are in Thailand) and last month pick-ups filled four of the top 10 sales spots.
Last year the Toyota HiLux was the nation’s top selling ‘car’ outright, the first time ever a pick-up has led the Australian market.
The Benz pick-up shares some of its underpinnings with the Nissan Navara following a Joint Venture with Nissan, but will have Mercedes safety and technology (and a fire extinguisher mounted on the dash). However, Mercedes will fit its own V6 diesel engine, technology and safety systems.
Mercedes will also equip the car with a wider body and track than the Navara – and have unique steering and suspension tuning – claiming it drives better than the vehicle on which it is based.
What is next from Daimler-Benz AG? A motorcycle perhaps?