It is official! Mercedes will offer a midsize pickup truck late next year, the first German premium automaker to make such a move. The truck will make its debut in Europe and MB did not disclose any launch date for the U.S. It will seat five and be branded under the Mercedes-Benz X-Class. The key markets will be Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Australia with New Zealand, and Europe.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target: we want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment.”
The double cab truck will have a ladder type frame, six cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. MB promises a very upscale interior. The top-of-the-line model will be available with a six cylinder diesel. So who will buy it? One important target group is families with an active lifestyle and an affinity for premium products. They use the pickup mostly for commuting to work, for shopping, taking the kids to school or sports activities, for weekend trips, and vacation, MB claims. Hopefully, one day it will appear here in the states.
Only one pickup’s headlights out of 11 earned a good performance rating in tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “The headlights on the majority of pickups don’t adequately light up the road,” it said. The lone exception was the new Honda Ridgeline’s RTL and Black Edition trims. Elsewhere, the IIHS said the GMC Sierra has acceptable headlights available on certain trims. Other versions earn a marginal or poor rating. The two kinds of headlights available on the Nissan Titan both earn a marginal rating. The Ram 1500 has marginal headlights on certain trim levels, while others have poor ones. The Ford F-150, the centerpiece of the best-selling F-Series line, is among the poorest performers, the IIHS said, adding the headlights with the worst visibility are on the Chevrolet Colorado.
The judge had said he was inclined to approve it and yesterday he did. The $14.7 billion settlement between Volkswagen and regulators regarding excess emissions from the 2.0-liter diesel engine. Owners can have VW buyback their vehicles – 2013-15 Beetle; 2010-15 Golf; 2009-15 Jetta; 2012-15 Passat; and 2010-13 and 2015 Audi A3. Owners can also opt to have their diesels repaired. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer called the agreement, “fair, reasonable and adequate.
“Final approval of the 2.0L TDI settlement is an important milestone in our journey to making things right in the United States, and we appreciate the efforts of all parties involved in this process,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. The automaker will also pay a total of $4.7 billion for environmental mitigation and clean emissions research. Next up is an agreement covering customers with the 3.0-liter V6 diesels.
General Motors had an excellent third quarter exceeding Wall Street expectations when it comes to revenue and earnings per share. Fiat Chrysler reported quarterly earnings of 47 cents a share, and that topped market expectations. It also posted a profit of $659 million in the third quarter – an improvement over the loss of $421 reported a year earlier. Ford issues its report card on Thursday.