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Is Mercedes Making a Mistake Going After the Luxury Camping Market?

Mercedes is known for a lot of things. Fans of Formula 1 know that Mercedes is one of the most dominant racing teams in the history of the sport. Other people know that Mercedes, like many other German automakers, makes some great, luxury cars. But now, Mercedes wants to be known for another thing, and that’s making luxury camper vans

The Mercedes luxury camper van

As Trucks.com reported, Mercedes unveiled to the world its luxury camper van called “The Weekender” during the Chicago Auto Show. It’s not really a brand-new car, as Mercedes is using its Metris cargo van as the actual van itself. However, The Weekender isn’t a cargo van, it’s been specially outfitted by Mercedes and several other camper van companies that Mercedes has partnered with. 

These companies are Driverge Vehicle Innovations and Peace Vans, according to Trucks. In essence, the three companies took the Metris and then upgraded it into the luxury camper van that is The Weekender. These upgrades do turn the Metris into a proper luxury camper van, too. 

Trucks.com says that some of the upgrades include an elevating roof with a sleeping area, a multi-purpose rear bench, a 2-inch memory foam mattress, and a lot of swiveling gear that maximizes the available room inside the van.

On top of that, Mercedes is offering luxury features such as solar panels, an upgraded infotainment system, and a navigational system. These optional features will complement the other standard features that include a second battery and multiple USB ports. 

While Mercedes hasn’t announced a price tag yet, Trucks.com says that The Weekender may cost about $70,000.

Why did Mercedes do this?

Mercedes is definitely best known for its luxurious sedans and SUVs, but Mercedes actually has a lot of outdoorsy offerings. For example, the G-Wagen is a $100,000 SUV from Mercedes and it’s selling very well. Clearly, there is a market for luxurious outdoorsy cars, and Mercedes sees opportunities there that other automakers aren’t seeing. 

That’s why Trucks.com reported that Mercedes created The Weekender in the first place. Mercedes thinks that there’s a market for luxury camper vans due to the fact that a lot of people want to buy camper vans that are still on the road. That shows Mercedes that a lot of people want to buy a camper van, but not enough camper vans are being made for them to buy. 

And true to Mercedes’ form, The Weekender couldn’t be an affordable camper van. Mercedes is a luxury brand, so Mercedes had to go all-in on giving the best experience that Mercedes could reasonably offer to camper van enthusiasts. That said, Mercedes did make The Weekender practical for other things too. The Weekender isn’t a massive van, so it’s easier to park in garages, according to Trucks.com.

Is this a good idea?

While $70,000 is a lot of money for most people, most people aren’t buying Mercedes cars. That said, it’s also not known whether or not the people who can buy a Mercedes would want to buy a camper van in the first place. But, that’s part of Mercedes’ strategy. 

There simply aren’t many luxury camper vans on the market right now. If there are, none were made by a prestigious brand like Mercedes. As a result, The Weekender is basically the most prominent car in its segment. That means that anyone who’s thinking about buying a luxury camper van will probably choose The Weekender over something else. 

As long as Mercedes doesn’t overestimate the demand for The Weekender, it should come out on top in terms of making a profit. Still, that won’t stop Mercedes fans from being skeptical of this new luxurious camper van.