The latest milestone of the five-year strategic alliance of Renault-Nissan and Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) is getting ready to come to fruition in the form of 1-ton pickups. Slated for the European, Australian, South African, and Latin American markets, the trucks will be branded as a Mercedes-Benz or Renault and will share some of its architecture with the not-available-in-the-U.S., NP300 Navavara. The Merc will be finalized in terms of engineering and design by Daimler and will feature Mercedes Benz’ styling and characteristics. Initial varieties will be double cab models targeted at both personal-use and commercial customers.
Not to be forgotten, the Mercedes will also have to share the spot light with Renault’s soon-to-be launched variety as well. Already in development and also sharing common architecture with the NP300, the Renault will feature distinctive styling with production beginning in 2016 at Nissan’s Cuernavaca, Mexico plant.
Mercedes trucks intended for the Latin American market will be built by Nissan along with the NP300 and Renault truck at the Cordoba, Argentina plan. The pickups for other markets will be built at Nissan’s plant in Barcelona, Spain. The factories will produce about 70,000 and 120,000 annual vehicles respectively.
While the NP300 looks like it could very well be the next generation U.S. spec Frontier, the rendering of the Mercedes-Benz truck looks like a ML with a truck bed. With a robust reputation carried by tough varieties such as the G-Wagon, ML and GL, Mercedes will surly find a host of new buyers for their all-new pickup, but, only the areas they’re targeting. As of now and probably as of forever, there are no plans of launching such a truck in the U.S.
Launched in Thailand last year, the NP300 is a very tidy, smartly designed pickup with numerous sets of options and configurations. Powered by either a 2.3 liter twin turbo or 2.3 liter single turbo diesel, or a 2.5 liter gasoline engine, the NP300 also has the option of ditching its leaf sprung suspension for a much more modern, 5-link setup. While specs for the Mercedes-Benz and Renault variety have yet to be detailed, expect the Merc to carry the advanced suspension as standard along with the more power diesel engine.