The recent reveal of the new Nissan Navara-based Mercedes-Benz X-Class ‘concept’ previews the German marque’s new premium pick-up model, due to go on sale next year. The Americans, Japanese, Brazilians, South Africans and Australians mastered pick-up trucks years ago, actually using them for their true purposes as work horses, rather than a lifestyle prop. Be they known locally as UTES, bakkies or trucks, the traditional body-on-frame pick-up is something of an institution in many parts of the world, from the Outback, deserts and war zones to Rodeo Drive.
Closer to home though, European vehicle makers have been slow ‘pick-up’ on to the pick-up market, allowing the Japanese to dominate this market for decades. Sure, years ago the likes of Morris and Peugeot offered rivals to the likes of the Toyota, Mitsubishi and Isuzu with its saloon car-based pick-ups (Marina, 404, 504, etc.), but these proved to be less robust and fit-for-purpose than the oriental Hilux, L200, D-Max, and so on.