think there is a market for Car Towable Caravans here in the states, it would just take a dedicated effort by the entire industry and a quantum shift in thinkin
Yes there would be and they much more durable than you would think, make the "Egg Campers" look very poor in comparison
Love the parking hand brake and sway control. Why can't we get that here?? Seems like such a simple thing to do. More genius European concepts that we're too stupid to adopt.
Hand brakes are common here in Australia. They use a friction demping device on European Caravans as they are pretty light. i.e being towed by a VW car Still they are easy to tip over if in a high wind situation
I can see VW making an offer for FCA. Although they are small in North America, they are large globally. There is some bad blood between VW and Fiat, so egos may stop this from forming. One of the scuffs was back in 2010 or 2011 when VW was partnered with Suzuki - Suzuki sourced Fiat diesels instead of VW.
I doubt they would Fiat has a poor reputation as a car maker outside NA VW would not touch them too much debt
FCA woos potential buyer GM even after acquiring millions from Crysler and now the Fiat founding family want's to unload the company.
For the combined FCA to grow it needs to merge with another manufacturer. Marchionne has said this previously. My feelings it could be Hyundai/ Kia who have the cars Fiat needs, but FIat has the Heavy Trucks range IVECO, that it needs
Still both do not produce a Global Pickup, RAM is all NA
More on the New Mercedes Pickup
Merc GLT will be no 'fat cowboy truck'
Mercedes-Benz has proclaimed its all-new ute – expected to be called the GLT-Class – will not be a "Fat cowboy truck for North America."
In an interview with CAR Magazine, Mercedes-Benz Vans chief Volker Mornhinweg also said the company's upcoming Nissan Navara-based one-tonner will be available in a wide variety of variants, from workhorse to leisure vehicle.
Due on sale by early 2019, the first mid-size Mercedes-Benz ute was confirmed by Daimler last month after it leaked this first teaser sketch.
CAR Magazine has now published two further sketches produced by Designwerk and says the dual-cab, which could also be produced in single-cab and other body styles, will be known as the GLT.
The nomenclature is consistent with Mercedes' existing SUV model family – rather than its commercial vehicle line-up – which includes the small GLA, mid-size GLC (GLK replacement), GLE (facelifted M-Class), GLS (facelifted GL) and the legendary G-Class.
Mercedes is yet to revel any technical details of its first mid-size ute, which will be based on the next-generation Navara ute (due on sale here by June) and the latest vehicle co-developed with Renault-Nissan.
The GLT will follow smart's latest fortwo/forfour micro-cars, which will share a platform with the next Renault Twingo but won't be sold here, as well as Infiniti's new Q30/QX30 small cars, which borrow the Daimler MFA platform that underpins the Benz A/B/CLA/GLA-Class.
In a role-reversing joint-venture that was previously killed off by Daimler in 2013 and now resurrected under the 'Project Andrew' codename, Nissan's new D23 Navara will donate its ladder frame and rolling chassis for the GLT, which will employ a different exterior, interior and engines.
That will make it a direct competitor for Australia's top-selling light commercials, including the Toyota HiLux (a new generation of which is due here later this year), as well as the Mitsubishi Triton (which will be replaced next month), the new Navara and the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 (both of which will be facelifted in coming months).
Indeed, Mornhinweg said the new Benz ute will not go head-to-head with dominant full-size North American pick-ups like the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram, but instead target established players in the world's four top mid-size truck markets – Latin America, South Africa, Europe and Australia.
"We are not going to develop a fat cowboy truck for North America," he told CAR. "After all, the big three – Ford, GM/GMC and Ram – already own about 90 per cent of that market, which typically absorbs in excess of two million units per year.
"In this cut-throat environment, newcomers like us would invariably fight an arduous uphill battle. That's why our focus is on a smaller and lighter pick-up truck which is already perceived as premium product in South America, Africa and the Middle East."
Mornhinweg told CAR the GLT will be built in three distinct equipment grades, including an entry model directed at trades people and a premium 'lifestyle' model, like its chief rivals.
"Modern pick-ups are becoming increasingly car-like," he said. "We shall take account of this trend by offering a wide choice of drivetrains as well as three different equipment levels provisionally labelled workhorse, dual use and leisure and family.
"Marketing expects dual-use to be the undisputed best-seller with the base and premium packs splitting the remaining 50 per cent."
The GLT is expected to be offered with four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel Mercedes engines, matched to six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic transmissions, as well as live-axle rear-drive and 4MATIC four-wheel drive and independent rear suspension options.
Pricing should be in line with the most popular utes from the US and Japanese brands, meaning a range between about $20,000 and $60,000.
CAR says the GLT's instrument panel will take inspiration from the GLC and GLE SUVs, and that it will join the Triton in offering an (electric) sliding rear window, as well as coming with a unique tailgate that can be locked at both 90- and 180-degree angles.
"The customers out there are waiting for the Mercedes among the mid-size pick-ups," Mornhinweg told CAR. "We shall give them exactly what they ask for: impeccable fit and finish, top-notch safety and comfort, excellent vehicle dynamics and state-of-the-art connectivity.
"Yes, our vehicle looks plain and simple. But it is highly functional, it offers best-in-class passenger space in row two, the ergonomics leave nothing to be desired, and the materials used clearly exceed typical pick-up standards."
According to Daimler, the worldwide market for mid-size pick-ups is around 2.3 million units per annum, and the dominant player is Toyota's HiLux/Tacoma, which attracts around 700,000 yearly sales, followed by Nissan, Isuzu, Ford and GMC. Volkswagen's Amarok has snared just three per cent of the market since its 2010 launch.
Light commercials account for about 20 per cent of the total new-vehicle market in Australia, where about 200,000 are sold annually, making it the world's fourth largest market.
It's understood the GLT will be produced by Nissan alongside the D23/NP300 Navara, which will be manufactured in Spain, Argentina (where Renault will also produce its first one-tonne ute) and, for Australia, Thailand.
"We've been part of this from the very beginning and we are genuinely excited," Mercedes-Benz's Australian PR chief David McCarthy told motoring.com.au last month.
"Toyota said today it plans to spend $1 billion to build a new plant in Guanajuato in central Mexico where it will make its next-generation Corolla -- a move that underscores the automotive industry's move to invest heavily in Mexico to build new auto plants in recent years."
It will keep on increasing as the now substantial infastructure, various free trade agreements , and membership of NAFTA will draw more Automotive manufacturing from the U.S.and Canada
Most of those engines will probably go to Europe where a good percentage of their vehicles are diesel. I just don't see the US moving to diesel with gas as cheap as it is.
No they already make so many diesels in Europe, these are destined for North America.
CAFE could be driver
They will be making a huge investment in new plants in Mexico producing two new diesels
Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) on Friday will announce an investment of about $2.5 billion in Mexico, industry sources said, the latest multibillion-dollar outlay in the country's booming auto sector.
Ford will invest $1.3 billion to expand its plant in northern Chihuahua state, where it will build two new diesel engines, with another $1.2 billion planned for a transmission plant in central Guanajuato state, the sources said on Tuesday.
The U.S. automaker will announce the investment in Mexico City on Friday to celebrate the 90th anniversary of its presence in Mexico. President Enrique Pena Nieto will attend the event.
A Mexican official said the Chihuahua investment would probably create about 4,000 jobs.
A Ford spokeswoman in Detroit declined to comment.
Ford is Mexico's fourth-largest auto exporter, according to official industry figures, selling 108,417 units abroad during the first quarter. The majority headed to the United States.
Ford announced its last major investment in Mexico in 2008, $3 billion to update its Cuautitlan plant in central Mexico to produce its popular Fiesta model.
The company also has a factory in the northern state of Sonora, where it produces the Fusion subcompact and the high-end Lincoln MKZ.
In recent years, foreign automakers have expanded their presence in Mexico, lured by its cheap labor, myriad free trade agreements and proximity to the United States.
On Monday, Reuters reported that Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), the world's biggest automaker, would spend $1 billion to build a new factory in Mexico, producing 200,000 cars a year, and planned to announce the investment on Wednesday.
Not very stealthy when the top goes up. I just sold my Sportsmobile poptop van.I could not sleep in the bottom so I had to have top up. That top always drew lots of attention in campgrounds so I can imagine how many looks I got at Wal-Mart in the middle of the night. No one ever bothered me but I feel much less self conscious in my full B van. Are tgere any pics of tge camper part?
No pics of the large Camper part, but Sisters is the smaller VW Transporter with a similar 2 litre diesel. She was with me looking at Vehicles at the Sydney Caravan and Camping Show. She has a stove that swings out of the way for easier entrance. Hers will be easy to park in underground car parks, it is still being built. I guess if you park a Class B overnight at Walmart, then you give up the stealth aspect
Thanks for sharing!
Fruit Salad Caravans is a clever twist.
More on the Minnie Winnies
Cripps said the colourful display models in Sydney were all ‘prototypes’ with some further interior changes planned based on customer feedback received thus far. These include extending the length of the double bed on some models and modifying the large American-style TV cabinet ‘wall’.
The first batch of 50, mostly grey, Minnie caravans currently available from Winnebago Australia dealerships have already had a number of changes to make them less ‘Americanised’, including new lighter interior finishes and more modern fixtures such as flick mixer taps.
Cripps said Apollo had already sold “a few” grey Minnie caravans since they were officially launched two months ago. However, the coloured versions could prove a harder sell, with a Winnebago salesman in Sydney on the fourth day of the show declaring he had yet to receive an order, despite plenty of interest.w
Slides are not for me. I don't want any potential problems. Or drafts, heat loss, etc. The 15K BTU AC is already working hard on my 24'.
In Dec. in Death Valley my friends and I were helping out a guy with new class C with slide stuck out. If we hadn't got it going, I was going to drive him back to Furnace Creek to make a phone call. Typical RV quality isn't that great. Anything left off is one more potential problem left off.Now don't get me started on my list of reasons to avoid a slide out. :)
Very much similar arguements in Australia, why you have slides and why not. Off Road Caravans do not have them due to structural strength issues, others do because they use theirs on paved roads and some dirt roads. A lot of Class C motor homes have them, Expedition Vehicles, none with one exception
Because the Sprinters are typically front wheel drive, they have limited GCVWR. The new Transit vans will come with rear wheel drive and the same engine that Ford used in the F-150 with a 11,000 pound towing ability. I am not sure of the GCVWR of the Transit, I don't think it is nearly as high as the F-150 GCVWR, but still it can tow some weight.
Sprinters have always been RWD. No the new Transit, will have the Ecoboost, but overall the GVWR and GCVWR much lighter than a Sprinter.
Still the Sprinter is a hot topic notice the Sprinter Pickup article on Pickup Truck.com
No the Sprinter is a poor choice for towing, it is rated at 4,400lb for towing in Australia
For the same money I'd rather have a full conversion with toilet, shower, etc and have truly enclosed standover height. And I could take it to any mechanic, not just a mercedese dealer for work, and not have to pay for nice looking knobs and overpriced leather instead of important parts.
This would be a Campervan here , not a true Class B. Advantage it can be very much a "Stealth B" Taken to your workplace, go to underground parking stations
Cannot do that with a a Sprinter conversion too cumbersome
Another sort of import is the South African origin initially Jurgens. Used to be a rugged version of a European Caravan, Now quite different being built in Australia called the Travado http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a186/RobRyan7/image.jpg2_zpsbfppdxdk.jpg
A local version of a paint scheme that shouts at you, but a bit more subtle