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Mercedes-Benz to get help from Nissan on its pickup truck? – UPDATE

Mercedes-Benz pickup truck
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Considering the ongoing partnership between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and Daimler star child Mercedes-Benz’s recently-announced plans to build a pickup truck, it was only a matter of time before one of the companies spoke about the possibility of that truck getting some Nissan DNA.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn was the first to sound off, but kept things quite ambiguous.

“I don’t want anybody to think that because they announced a pickup truck, they have to make it with us,” Ghosn told Automotive News (sub. required) at the recent New York Auto Show.

However, he said Nissan would be open to collaborating with Mercedes on the truck project, noting that “everything is on the table between us.”

Daimler and Renault-Nissan subsequently confirmed that they would co-develop the truck.

The Mercedes pickup will be based on the Nissan NP300, which is expected to at least influence the design of the next U.S.-market Frontier.

However, Daimler will still do considerable design work to differentiate its product from the Nissan.

The Mercedes pickup will be built at a Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, alongside the Nissan NP300 and a Renault model. The three trucks will also be built at Nissan’s plant in Barcelona, Spain.

Considering their existing partnership, the pairing of Nissan and Daimler on the truck project makes sense.

The two companies’ partnership is already expected to yield a production version of the Infiniti QX30 small crossover concept, borrowing heavily from the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

And while Mercedes has plenty of truck experience, it lacks Nissan’s knowledge of the pickup field and its demanding buyers.

Mercedes previously assigned its Vans division to the project, which is expected to yield a truck that can compete with the Toyota Hilux in international markets.

While Mercedes is targeting Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia, it currently has no plans to bring the truck to the U.S.

That’s too bad, because the U.S. is currently experiencing a mid-size truck resurgence with the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins already on sale, soon to be followed by the refreshed 2016 Toyota Tacoma, and a new Honda Ridgeline as well.

UPDATE: Daimler and Renault-Nissan subsequently confirmed that they would collaborate on the Mercedes midsize truck. We added details of the deal.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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