Mercedes Planned to Rebadge Nissan’s New Pickups

Mercedes Planned to Rebadge Nissan’s New Pickups

The term “luxury pickup truck” is a strange one that manages to make U.S. auto companies fistfuls of cash.

Maybe that’s why Daimler was seriously considering a project that would have seen Nissan’s Titan and Frontier re-badged as Mercedes-Benz products. According to a report from Road & Track, a plan to do exactly that has been shelved. With plans crumbled and lying on the floor, it sounds like Infiniti, Nissan’s in-house premium brand, is plotting to offer a premium pickup of its own.

“We know about their pickup, but as long as they price it more enthusiastically than ours, we don’t think it will impact our plans,” an anonymous source told the magazine.

Had things continued, plans would have likely seen both vehicles on the market by 2016, roughly one year after a second-generation Titan debuts.

Most of the exterior characteristics would have been held in common except for a different front fascia and badges. The real difference would have been on the inside where Mercedes would assume domain over choosing cabin styling and materials to better suit its buyers.

Mercedes was even deep enough into the project before it was killed that its engineers already began working on tweaking NVH levels in the trucks. The chassis and all-wheel drive system would have been shares. So would the suspension, although Mercedes would have re-tuned it.

Problems rose when Daimler wanted the vehicles to be engineered to accommodate a wider range of engines than Nissan had planned. Demands to engineer the Frontier to be offered as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid also served to stymie plans.

[Source: Road & Track]

Discuss this story at

  • Tade

    Hybrid pick up? lol that sounds a bit funny…

  • Alex Divov

    Thank God they ditched the idea. Nissan pick-up’s leave much to be desired.
    They have been left behind by the likes of Toyota Hilux, Isuzu, Ford Ranger and the VW Amarok. I run 2 Isuzu’s and an Amarok. The Nissan Hardbody is dull and has thirsty, gutless engines. The Navara is better but soft.
    I like the Amarok for the big cab. The single cab’s seat can even recline. I don’t like the clutch action and the seats lack lumber support which you realise only on a long trip.
    Mercedes wouldn’t be doing themselves a favour by rebadging an old hag….

  • Onry1 .

    That just wouldn’t be a Mercedes any way you sliced it…

  • cruz_ctrl

    “luxury pickup truck” what a waste of money.

    check out the Lincoln pickup. huge, gas-guzzling, behemoth with tacky chrome accents. only appeals to those who like the sizzle and care not about the steak.

  • Bert

    Like the ‘Mercedes Benz Citan’ on the Euro market. A Renault Kangoo with a Mercedes Grille. Or… how to devalue a landmark brand by diluting it to make a quick buck.

  • Rastus Mabutoo

    What’s next in the total trashing of the name rebadged KIA’s? Hang the star on a updated Yugo?…….. Anything for a $$ ….. Benz used to be at the forefront of class, Now it seems they have no shame…….

  • steve

    What a mess that would of been, Nissan makes crap cars, They should of looked to Toyota

  • steve

    The GLK already is a Way over priced poor excuse of a SUV.

  • Smokey

    I would like to think that Mercedes Benz engineering could design a pick up truck using a high efficiency diesel engine and adaptive suspension and braking…maybe even a 4 matic. And let’s stop at a half ton since that seems to be about 90% of the pick up world. They already have all the parts on the shelf.

    As a matter of fact I saw a MB camper pick up last week on State Road 14 just south of Santa Fe. It had a full off road package with over cab driving lights and a rear overhang that was angled to prevent dragging on steep incline transitions. It also had the MB star grill.

  • Simon Mac

    I think this is horse radish – no way merc would put their badge on japense engineering – I am a Merc fan through and through – had porsche, land rover, bmw, vw and stuck with merc for many years now. It would damage the brand and why the hell would a company that makes cars like 600SL and GL and ML go and do this – sounds like a virul rumor to me…..I wouldnt buy it – and if they did do it – no one would have the kudos for merc like merc fans do – we wouldnt start buying nissan either – … it would be – I want my mercededs benz back! or…I would move over to a rolls royce – just have to! But I think this post…is Bollocks! – Uhh – – like Porsche decided to rebadge a fiat! Seriously???? I dont think so – Merc – I love you and thanks for making my cars!!! I dig em!

  • Rastus Mabutoo

    Absolutely agree on the diesel 1/2 ton in house designed MB truck, why not? The USA market is lacking in 1/2 ton diesels for some unknown reason. The diesel market here is dominated by the 3/4 & 1 ton trucks. A bold market move like that with a efficient stylish pickup, they’d sell a lot . And as you said they have most of the parts on the shelf.

  • Smokey

    If only they are reading this forum! Looking at the Bluetec E 250, I can see the truck engine right there although I believe they are still making a version of the 300 5 cylinder for the Sprinter (not sure). My point, as before, is that they have the technology on hand…I remember the early Dodge pick up with its Cummins…what a revolutionary idea. And there are many here still on the road. Even my old 240 D would have enough umph for a mini pick up.

  • Montucky

    The problem with Mercedes making luxury pickups is that they will have to go somewhere. Yuppies buy pickups they will never use and then they get tired of them. They have to go somwhere and very few people, including myself, who depend on a pickup are going to buy used luxury pickups that cost more than a new ford or dodge. Mercedes was smart to pull their head out of the cave and realize they didn’t stand a chance against the American trucks. Caddy makes a nice yuppie truck as does chevy and dodge. Ford makes a Raptor that is red hot. Perhaps Mercedes could find a way in the niche market of street legal Baja trucks like Ford did with the raptor.

    If mercedes wanted to get into the pickup market, why not make a nice small diesel pickup for the working man. The rich guys would see rugged individuals hunting, fishing and working in these smaller diesel trucks and would want to be cool like them. They could spring for the AMG version. 🙂

    I love Mercedes, they saved me from having to buy a soccer mom car with their wagon. I run an older Landcruiser, a scion and have a K2500 GMC for hunting and gathering fire wood along with trips to the landfill. Seems like everybody has 4 cars in Montana.

    Anyway, I think that Mercedes should concentrate on getting diesel cars that are affordable into the US market. It’s going to be hard because of the unscientific, feel good politics and the lobby, but it would be worth it. Mercedes has gone from luxury only to slutting themselves out so why not sell a ton of cars and keep the standards?

    Rant over. Long live the Auto Union cars.

  • Montucky

    I run a Landcruiser as it was meant to be used. It’s an amazing SUV for Montana. It spends more time off road than on and has never let me down. My hunting buddy has a Nissan pickup. It goes airborne regularly, it slaps against trees on logging trails, pulls out huge trees and keeps on going. It’s a great truck. Nissan knows how to make an awesome pickup. Don’t mistake them for their disposable entry level cars.

  • Montucky

    Shareholders have been slutting out the benz since 2000. The w210 was the last real mercedes. Now they are plastic and designed to keep you in the shop after the warranty expires. Chrysler really messed them up and the stink lingered after they were gone.

  • Montucky

    They could go the AMG route and try to compete with the Ford Raptor.

  • gilles monvoisin

    That is actually a really good idea – a small diesel (Bluetec) pick-up. Afterall, they make that B class which (IMO) doesn’t drive like a Benz. I too, like you, bought a MB wagon (on my second one now) to avoid a minivan. I also agree with your last statement, MB’s standards has dropped over the last few years.

  • Rastus Mabutoo

    Mercedes have been going down in quality for a long time. They’re not the only ones , it’s endemic to all of the auto industry, All flash, Little substance.. Do you honestly beleive they’ll ever build another bulletproof automobile like the 123 platform 300D or the 300SD of the same vintage? Do you think any car they build now will receive a million mile badge? or even a 500,000 mile badge? I don’t. Plastic doesn’t last that long. It’s unfortunate but MB has changed their whole design philosophy from long lasting & rebuildable to BIC lighter throwaways.