If you happened to have wandered past the Sydney Fish Markets while it was still cloaked in pre-dawn darkness over the past couple of years, there's a good chance you'll have spotted some shady-looking Germans lurking in the car park, quietly watching Australia's ute owners go about their business.
The reason for all this dark skullduggery? Mercedes-Benz had decided to launch the X-Class ute. They just weren't sure exactly how.
It was unexplored territory for Mercedes, and even more so given the minuscule popularity of utes in Europe and the UK, and so the brand's German executives went undercover, flying to Australia and taking trips to the Sydney Fish Markets, or weekend trips to hardware stores and worksites across Victoria and Queensland, to see exactly who was driving these utes, and exactly how they were using them.
"One of the first experiences of our headquarter colleagues was literally waking up at 5:30am and heading to the fish markets in Sydney…or just driving around Sydney, Queensland and Melbourne. They were here for many weeks, at various times," says Mercedes-Benz Australia's managing director - vans, Diane Tarr.
"We did a lot of work ingraining in them the Australian mindset, and showing how people use their utes."
Yep, it's been teased more than a bad Rebecca Black song, but the covers have finally come off the new Mercedes X-Class ute, and what Benz is calling the "world's first premium pick-up" is now locked and loaded for an early-2018 launch in Australia.
For an indication of just how rapid a departure the X-Class is from the norm for the world's oldest, and arguably most prestigious, automotive brand, you need look no further than the wave of blue denim that washed over the car's grand unveiling in South Africa.
There are some of the most senior executives Mercedes has to offer, people whose only likely encounter with a ute is when they have to pay the gardener, and here they were dressed-down in jeans and sneakers, strolling casually across the stage like they were hosting a backyard barbecue.
Clearly, then, this is a car intended to appeal to an entirely different demographic to the one Mercedes is most used to targeting, and the brand's executives are bending over backwards to prove it's still in touch with the common folk.
And so we now know almost everything there is to know about the German's Navara-based foray into the utility world, and there's plenty of good news there for Australians buyers.
So read on for our in-depth breakdown on what might just be the most hotly-anticipated commercial vehicle of all time.