IT MAY not be the most obvious choice for Mercedes-Benz, but the German maker of posh cars has announced that it will introduce a pick-up truck to its range – just the job for Bob the Builder’s celebrity home improvement work.
Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz, confirmed that the company would launch a pick-up before the end of the decade, and a sketch of the the new model shows how it is likely to look.
The company cites a growth in worldwide sales of pick-ups – trucks that offer a combination of a open load bay for carrying equipment and a closed cab that has enough mod cons to make it comfortable enough to double up as a family car. It says that the growth in volume is accompanied by a demand for more luxurious pick-ups.
Growing numbers of drivers are attracted to these cars because, as most are classed as light commercial vehicles, VAT-registered businesses can reclaim all or part of the VAT (Value Added Tax) when buying a pick-up truck outright. The scheme was originally intended as an incentive for farmers and builders.
If the car is for unrestricted private use, then there will be a “benefit in kind” liability, known as BIK, which is £600 per year for a 20% tax payer, and £1,200 a year for a 40% tax payer. If the car will only be used for business, then there is no BIK to be paid.
The new Mercedes pick-up will be developed by the Vans division of Mercedes-Benz, led by Volker Mornhinweg. He says it will offer “a high level of utility and at the same time the comfort, safety, and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car.”
Currently, the poshest pick-up on the market is the Volkswagen Amarok. It is priced from £20,995 – excluding VAT – and will be the benchmark for Mercedes to outperform in all respects.