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Is Mercedes planning a pickup truck?

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Gene J. Puskar/AP/File

(Read caption) a Mercedes logo on a Mercedes automobile at the Pittsburgh Auto Show in Pittsburgh. The automaker released a statement saying a Mercedes-badged pickup truck will be launched by the end of the decade as a means to further boost global growth.

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Already a formidable force in the commercial van market, Mercedes-Benz may be about to branch out into the light truck segment with a new pickup. The automaker’s commercial vehicles unit has released a statement that a Mercedes-badged pickup truck will be launched by the end of the decade as a means to further boost global growth.

"The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets,” Mercedes-Benz chief Dieter Zetsche said in the statement. “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."

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Along with the statement, Mercedes dropped this teaser sketch hinting at the design of the new pickup.

Assuming the announcement isn’t an early April Fools’ Day prank, the new pickup would compete against other small to mid-size global offerings such as the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok. Crucially, the U.S. wasn’t included in a list of potential markets for the new pickup. The key markets are said to be Australia, Europe, Latin America and South Africa.

Work on the project is said to have started several years ago. It’s possible the basis of the vehicle will be borne out of the alliance between Mercedes’ parent company Daimler and Renault Nissan. Some of Mercedes commercial vehicles sold overseas,like the Citan van, already share their underpinnings with Renault Nissan vehicles.

Perhaps we'll know more come April 1...


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