High-line SUVs today are offered by virtually every luxury brand, with most of the holdouts, including Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce, set to soon add them to their line-ups. But if Mercedes is successful with its first pickup, don't be surprised to see that move copied, as well.
While you can get into a Ford F-Series model for as little as $27,000 (including delivery fees), the half-ton F-150 can push well above $70,000 if you want to add the sort of features normally found in a luxury sedan, such as wood trim, heated-and-cooled leather seats, and an audiophile sound system.
The F-150 is by no means unique. Roughly three out of every four of the GMC Sierra light-duty crew-cab models General Motors sells are priced above $40,000. And Fiat Chrysler's Ram brand has seen similar, high-end demand grow faster than overall pickup sales.
Pickup sales have picked up
The full-size pickup market — which includes commercial and heavier-duty trucks, such as the Ford F-450 — accounted for 12 percent of the record 17.5 million new vehicles sold in the U.S. market last year — or about 2.24 million trucks, according to industry sales data.
Midsize pickups — such as the Toyota Tacoma, GMC Canyon and Nissan Frontier — generate only a fraction of that demand, total sales of just 448,398 last year. But that was a 25.6 percent surge.