By on July 19, 2017

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Studio - Image: Mercedes-BenzWe don’t know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, exactly what Mercedes-Benz USA has planned for the brand’s new pickup truck, the X-Class.

Importing the Nissan Navara-based Benz pickup seems doubtful. The Chicken Tax, a 25-percent tariff on imported light trucks, would bring a $43,000 X-Class’s price up to $54,000. Moreover, premium  brand pickup trucks — Lincoln Blackwood and Mark LT; Cadillac Escalade EXT — have faltered in the past. The X-Class is also set to be almost entirely dependent on diesel engines, and Mercedes-Benz would almost invariably need a gas powerplant to function in North America, both from cost and emissions standpoints. Plus, Mercedes-Benz’s X-Class would be competing for a slice of a slice of America’s pickup truck pie. America’s pickup truck sector is huge, but 84 percent of it is devoted to full-size, not midsize, pickup trucks.

However, if — and it’s a big if — Mercedes-Benz either determines that importing the X-Class to the United States is viable or decides to build the X-Class in the NAFTA zone, the words of Volker Mornhinweg, Mercedes-Benz Vans’ executive vice president, might just come back to haunt the three-pointed star.

“Our clear target was excellent refinement,” Mornhinweg told AutoCar at the X-Class’s July 18 launch. “This is more a lifestyle oriented pick-up. It’s not a basic workhorse.”

Cringe.

Wince.

Gasp.2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class Euro pallet - Image: Mercedes-BenzEven if a pickup truck will never be used for workhorse purposes, you must convince me it is an eminently capable pickup, first and foremost.

Thing is, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class could easily be labelled, on paper, as a workhorse. Its capabilities are in keeping with other midsize efforts. It’ll tow 7,700 pounds and accept a payload of nearly 2,300 pounds. All four corners are coil-sprung. The standard suspension (outside Europe) offers 8.7 inches of ground clearance; the X-Class can wade into water 23.6 inches deep.

The X-Class can be more than one thing, as Mercedes-Benz is keen to point out in the company’s official documents. Mercedes-Benz says the X-Class, “unites the typical traits of a pickup – robustness, functionality, strength and off-road capabilities – with the classical characteristics of a real Mercedes – design, comfort, driving dynamics and safety.”

Mercedes-Benz even points to the most basic X-Class, the Pure, as a truck for “classic robust use.” Not just classic, not just robust, but classic robust. The company release uses the word tough five times and the word robust five times, throws in a couple mentions of rugged, and makes 15 comments regarding off-road.

But as soon as executives, even a former boss of hallowed AMG such as Volker Mornhinweg, go on the record suggesting that the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is “lifestyle oriented,” an eyebrow is raised.

“Lifestyle, huh? Really now, lifestyle? This truck is not a workhorse? You’re saying it can’t work? Refinement is the number one goal? Don’t you mean to say that being loaded with one ton of cement blocks, dropped from high above by a front end loader, while bouncing around uncontrollably on a work site, is your number one goal?”

Of course, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is a capable truck, undoubtedly comparable to the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado and Nissan Frontier that lead America’s midsize truck market. But you still can’t be overheard saying it’s not intended to be a workhorse.

My neighbor uses a Ford F-250 every day to tow a horse trailer or a bale elevator. He commutes in a Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD loaded with plumbing and HVAC equipment. A massive percentage of America’s truck owners don’t do that. They don’t tow ridiculously heavy loads, the trucks aren’t absolutely required for work, they don’t off-road, they might not even get dirty, and they certainly don’t ford two-foot-deep streams.Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pure - Image: Mercedes-BenzYet America’s truck owners want trucks that can do those things, if need be. America’s truck owners want trucks that advertise their ability; that wear their capability patches on their shoulders.

Perhaps many of the 7,500 pickup trucks sold in America today won’t ever see a dirt road or a construction site. Maybe the rear end of many of those pickup trucks will never back up to a trailer hitch. The four-wheel-drive switch may never be turned. A tonneau cover will turn the bed into a trunk, a trunk that will be loaded with bicycles and paddleboards. The back seat will carry children and groceries. The dog that sits up front will be a Bichon Frise, not a Boxer.

But Mercedes-Benz just can’t tell us that’s the way it’s going to be. And now that Mercedes-Benz has, well, we find ourselves needing a truck that can carry one pickup truck in its bed while towing another up a hill of boulders.

[Images: Daimler AG]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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68 Comments on “What Not to Say When Introducing New Pickup Truck – Mercedes-Benz X-Class Edition...”


  • avatar
    Hank

    I’d think the luxury mid-size market is a no go for this. I could almost see a commercial market if they sold them alongside the Sprinter at a decent price, and that would let them focus on specs people actually want in a truck. Ability>snob appeal in the truck market.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The Chicken Tax is protectionism. Shame. Burn it and take CAFE with it. Then see who can compete for US business. Consumers will be the winners and debates over what will sell will become irrelevant. Choice will increase and prices will come down. Consumer taste can change. Look at how the Japanese were able to sell small cars in droves to Americans when gas prices were high and American small car quality was inferior.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      We stated.

      I do believe if there were no chicken tax the number of pickup brands available in the US would double, at least.

      You know there is little competition when a manufacturers can offer so many trim levels for one product like most full size pickups offer.

      CAFE should be made redundant and the US adopt the UNECE model. Oddly people think the US will go down the line of the EU, but this is not correct, just look at the vehicles we can have in Australia.

      Most constraints in the EU is driven by tax on engine/vehicle size and fuel.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – There’s no “chicken tax” on import cars, yet we’re far from having every brand of cars the world has to offer. Nor do we have every model of sedans/wagons/hatches/compacts/SUVs from the import/global brands that do sell in the US.

        Why is that, BAFO?

        Why do some Nissan and Honda pickups struggle to stay afloat, given the “protectionism” they completely lavish in???

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – The “UNECE model” has turned out to be a disaster film, health/death epidemic. Now they’re moving towards a CAFE type of reform, backing away from taxation/subsidies that encouraged/forced tiny diesels.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Totally agree DM, leave it to Euro regulators to dream up something much worse even than CAFE. Get rid of them both, for fks sake, and let consumers decide how much gas they want to pay for vs other vehicle attributes.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            thelaine,
            I would actually Google what the UNECE model is before making uneducated comments.

            All the UNECE regs do is make all countries (other than the US and Canada to a degree) use a common set of guidelines for emissions, safety and equipment.

            This is why in Australia we had a supercharged 6.2 Holden ute that wasn’t penalised. The same vehicle meets all safety and emissions standards to be sold in other UNECE nations.

            It has nothing to do now with being “European” as much as it has to do with being Japanese or Chinese.

            The developing world is slowly taking on the UNECE model as well.

            This leaves the US on it’s own. So, this is a negative for the US to export as the US is not producing vehicles that the world wants.

            How the EU taxes it’s vehicles is up to the EU. The EU doesn’t dictate in Australia what FE is required or engine size is needed in a vehicle.

            What the UNECE does is harmonise, safety and emission requirements.

            So, while the US tries to get it’s head around CAFE (and it’s bias towards large vehicles) we can drop a 3.5 EcoSieze in a Ranger or a LS3 into a Colorado.

            That doesn’t seem very European to me.

            Read and learn about the different models used around the world. Just because it didn’t originate in the US doesn’t mean it’s substandard.

            In other words look at what is working around the world.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Totally agree DM, leave it to Euro regulators to dream up something much worse even than CAFE. Get rid of them both, for fks sake, and let consumers decide how much gas they want to pay for gas vs other vehicle attributes.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            thelaine,
            What impact does the Euro regulators have in the Australian automotive market?

            You are showing your bias and total ignorance of what you are describing.

            READ UP AND LEARN. Don’t end up like DenverD_ck. I hold you in much higher esteem.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      If the Chicken Tax were removed, the odds are high we’d start seeing more compact pickups in the US market–a market segment that is totally un-touched today.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    In my neck of the woods, the term “luxury pickup” usually means a GMC Sierra Denali or maybe a Ford F-150 Limited. It’s loaded with luxurious options but is built on top of a classic working platform. It may not ever see a day of work in it’s life, but that perception is there, and it is appealing to many. The type of buyer who would go after an X-Class probably is already pretty well served by the Honda Ridgeline.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      I wouldn’t term the X Class as a luxury product. It a commercial vehicle.

      Like most any pickup its bling and bullsh!t. People mistake this for luxury.

      If all this bling and bullsh!t is luxury then just about every Chinese car made is a luxury vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – As a “commercial vehicle”, as you call it, or claim it is, what would the X-class offer US fleet buyers, over say a Frontier, Colorado, Tacoma, and such? Would it compete on price?

        Maybe Mercedes should work the “Luxury” angle, for this is the US, if in fact it does show up here. Mercedes has worked long and hard promoting themselves here as a “Premium” brand. So why tarnish that?

  • avatar
    4drSedan

    I need a Ford F-150 XLT Super Crew with 5 1/2 foot bed and 2.7 Ecoboost, not because my grueling job reading emails all day requires it, but to tow the boat and travel trailer that I don’t (nor will likely ever) own. It won’t fit in my garage and is too big to comfortably park in most places but DAMMIT I need it. A $43,000 mini truck just won’t cut it. (seriously, I need one).

  • avatar
    thornmark

    I thought Europe was un-dieseling after pushing people into diesels.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      No, not really.

      The stories about diesel pollution is true, except the polluting diesels are the older Euro4 vehicles. Even the Euro5 vehicles will pollute.

      The new Euro6 diesels are nearly identical to US emission standards.

      Direct Injected gas engines are releasing more particulates than new diesels, by at least 10 fold.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – It’s a very small fraction of existing European diesels that are Euro6 *and* actually run clean. Without shutting down, banning all others including all VW/Audi/Porsche TDIs in existence, it could take several decades to clean up the cancer causing disaster.

        So what if “direct injection” gas engines are also dirty. They won’t take nearly as much emissions equipment to clean up. And they don’t detract from the fact Europe needs to fix its diesel catastrophe first.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The photo above reveals my one biggest complaint about today’s pickup trucks; the load floor is too far off the ground. The open tailgate shows that the load floor is at hip level, making it more difficult to load/unload at ground level. This is the problem with using large-diameter wheels, even when using low-profile tires. It’s simply unnecessary for the truck to ride so high unless it’s intended to be an off-road toy. And you can usually buy bolt-on accessories to raise the height for toy-level use.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Timothy,
    I do believe you hit the nail on the head with your describing Mercedes Benz stating it’s rugged and robust. Yet AMG describes it as a lifestyle vehicle.

    The reality is most all pickups are lifestyle vehicles. Size does not really come into the equation.

    Even of the so called pickups used for business only a portion of them are used for work and are a tax write off.

    The proportion of pickups that tow more than 5 000lbs is few and far between. Yes we see them on the highways, but the pickups we see on the highways are not the ones sitting in parking lots around the country in workplaces, or the crew cab pickups sitting in driveways awaiting the wives to collect the kids from school or soccer and go shopping.

    The legend or myth lives on with pickup and utes (in Australia). Most are just an alternative SUV.

    I do believe you are incorrect in your assumption about the popularity these will have.

    Over the past 30-40 years pickups have been in transformation from the real workhorses to the family haulers. They started out as really economical family wagons. Now they are quite expensive family haulers.

    This X Class will sell and sell well. It is in the same price league as a top of the line global Ranger and Amarok.

    You are also correct and incorrect in your assumption regarding what will sell in the US regarding pickups. I do believe that the chicken tax is apart of the reason why pickups are so expensive in the US.

    I also believe full size pickups will reign for a while yet, but with no chicken tax I do believe the makeup of pickup truck segments would be different.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      “You are also correct and incorrect in your assumption regarding what will sell in the US regarding pickups. I do believe that the chicken tax is apart of the reason why pickups are so expensive in the US.”

      I mean they are expensive and they aren’t. You can buy a full sized truck for the same price as a midsized sedan, but you can also buy one for the price of a BMW 7-Series.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Adam,
        Pickups are making a huge or unusually high profit margin in the automotive industry.

        Why?

        They then are expensive.

        On average pickups in the US are more expensive then in other countries.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          I’d like to see statistics that back that up. Ones that were adjusted for content, safety features, and emissions.

          We aren’t going to compare a Mahindra Indian market truck to a RAM Rebel.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Adam,
            In your method of madness you forgot to add country of manufacture.

            Maybe only US made will be okay?

            Come on man!

            I can filter out as much data as I want to make anything appear to be what I want.

            Keep on filtering and classifying to suit the numbers you want.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            From what I’ve seen, the foreign-built cars seem to be the more reliable ones today. Certainly GM and Ford are having their problems.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            You have to compare like items. You can’t say that we pay more for trucks because we don’t get third world garbage trucks. The American truck buyer doesn’t want a Great Wall Wingle or Mahindra Genio. A Nissan Frontier starts at $18K. There isn’t room under that. That’s where the used truck market comes in.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Actually, there is room under that, Adam. Personally, if that Mahindra is smaller than a Colorado, I’d be VERY interested in it. My current goal is to get my hands on a Fiat Strada–for me almost the perfect size if it comes with an extended cab. That Colorado is much too big for my needs and the AVERAGE price is over 50% higher than that Frontier you mentioned.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Adam,
            Compare like items? WTF? I’m glad you don’t run a business.

            Compare competitive items would be a better method to produce a better data set.

            Now take the Foton Tunland, with a better safety rating than the new upgraded 3 Star Mustang.

            $30k AUD or $22.5k USD. Complete with leather and bling, 4×4, crew cab, Cummins diesel, Getrag transmission, Borg Warner Tx case, Bosch electronics, Dana axles.

            That would sell in the US. Don’t forget 75% of people don’t give a sh!t where their vehicle is made.

            Even those Mahindras and Tatas would put pressure on pickup prices, along with the Tunland and Ssyangyong pickup.

            These guys are forcing the more established Japanese and US manufacturers to drop prices. If this was the US a large drop in midsize prices would force the full size manufacturers to drop prices.

            Most other Japanese pickups we get out of Thailand are cheaper than the US. To the point where a diesel is cheaper than a US V6 midsizer.

            I really do believe you need to open up and be less one eyed.

            …………………………………

            This might not be the best pickup, but it is competitive and it sells well enough.

            http://www.caradvice.com.au/535132/2017-foton-tunland-4×4-review/

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Now take the Foton Tunland, with a better safety rating than the new upgraded 3 Star Mustang.”
            —- Does it come in an extended-cab version as compared to standard- or crew-cab versions?

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Vulpine-

            You have proven to be an outlier when it comes to vehicle buying.

            Al-

            I don’t want the chicken tax either. However, even if it was gone, Americans aren’t going to switch over to Foton from Toyota or Nissan. They may not care about where the vehicle is made, but they care about the brand. Those vehicles would have to sold under existing brands. I wish any new truck brand luck cracking into the US truck market. It is dominated by brands that know what US truck buyers want.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Vulpine- You have proven to be an outlier when it comes to vehicle buying.”

            And yet I’ve owned two of Jeep’s more popular models over the last several years–models many have said aren’t worth the money yet one of which has close to the highest trade-in value in the world by percentage of sticker. Maybe I am an outlier but it’s quite clear I am not alone in lying outside the perceived “norm.”

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          I just priced our a 2017 Colorado 4×4 Z71 2.8L diesel in both the US and Australia. And y’all pay more for the Z71. Even when factoring content, taxes, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Adam,
            You almost had me.

            So, does your US price include taxes? I just did the same and came up with roughly $36 800USD for a US Colorado Z71 and $38 400 USD for an Aussie Z71.

            But ………………. deduct 10% GST and then another 5% import tax off the Aussie truck or nearly $6k.

            That makes it quite a bit cheaper. So, if the US imported a 2.8 Crew Cab Z71 4×4 it would retail for around $32k US, before any wheeling and dealing.

            Also, they are different trucks, so it will be hard to make a real one on one comparo, close, maybe.

            Like I stated, look at what we have on offer and their pricing.

            You guys don’t have the midsizers we have. That’s the chicken tax.

            Like the new Armada, many US takes on pickups and SUVs are sort of cheapened.

            As you state the US wants big vehicles, cheap and that’s what you guys have.

            Oh, our GST is a Goods and Services Tax on all items other than basic foods. The 5% import tax is a left over from days gone by. I did read the government is supposed to remove it. But our government is running a deficit, so it will be a while.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            The price on the Aussie Colorado was $45K USD including taxes and such. The US version would cost be $43K USD with taxes. It is about the same. I don’t know if dealers haggle in the land of Oz, but getting a Z71 Colorado for under $40K out the door shouldn’t be an issue.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Adam,
            Like I stated there are 15% of hidden taxes in the Aussie ute.

            What are the taxes on the US pickup.

            This is significant.

    • 0 avatar
      I_like_stuff

      Towing capacity is like a gun…better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Disagree. It looks ridiculous to me when I watch a full-sized pickup truck towing a utility trailer smaller than its bed just be because the owner doesn’t want to scratch up the paint. Most of these trucks already have a spray-in bedliner and won’t get scratched up by the typical stuff you tow on a utility trailer.

        If you’re not planning to tow an RV or boat (meaning you don’t have one already or active plans to buy such) then towing capacity is irrelevant.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve65

        “Towing capacity is like a gun…better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”

        Horsecrap. I’ve been driving for 37 years(41 if you count the underage joyrides). I’ve owned a one-ton pickup for the last nine. I’ve towed a total of three times in my life. The money I’d have wasted buying and hauling around extra towing capacity all those years would pay for a rental truck ten times over for the handful of times I’ve pulled a trailer.

        You zealots will never get it. For some people, nothing could be less relevant than towing ability. Factoring it into my purchase decisions would be the stupidest thing possible.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    What do marketers even mean when they describe something as a “lifestyle” product?

    What do they intend to communicate with that word?

    I’m honestly asking, because I see it all the time but truly have no idea what they are trying to tell me.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Lifestyle”, for marketers today, means “adult toy.” They mean it’s intended to be a fun product that maybe is a bit useful.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      Broadly, I think “lifestyle” means trading outright capability for improved design and/or daily comfort.

      Maybe people hear the word, and think how the car will fit their own lifestyle. It gets more personal.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The pickup truck “lifestyle” is similar to Jeep Wrangler buyers that want the off-road, rugged, go anywhere “look”, but never leave the pavement or concrete jungle.

      But if you ask me, it’s better to have a pickup (bed) and never need it, than need it and not have it.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I owned a Wrangler and yes, I admit it only went to an off-road course once in my 9 years of ownership. However, that trip to the off-road park was to learn its capabilities, not to just go out and play around. During that 9 years of ownership, that Jeep never let me get stuck in mud or snow, not even at the in-Law’s farm which is remote enough not to have plowing during the winter and gets very muddy in the spring. It took grades I would have hesitated to take with any other vehicle (including my current one) and was very reliable, with the exception of an ongoing brake problem that is now subject to a factory-extended warranty out to 15 years/unlimited miles.

        No, I didn’t buy it for appearances, though i admit I don’t like to buy ‘ordinary’ vehicles. Rather, I bought it for what I knew it could do in a part of the country where that ability is truly useful (I wouldn’t have bought it if living in Georgia, for instance.) Now I drive a Georgia-built, Tennessee-owned Ranger, meaning 2WD while living in the same snow country where I drove my Wrangler… and you wonder why I want a similarly-sized or smaller pickup with AWD… simply don’t need full mechanical 4WD any more. I’ve gotten by without a pickup truck for many years but that also means I loaded some things into that Wrangler I really wished I hadn’t simply because I could take every window out of it when necessary. Can’t do that with any other type of vehicle… not even the other 4x4s. So for me there are times when I need the open bed but I simply don’t need the SIZE of the modern US pickup truck.

  • avatar
    turf3

    Can I carry a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood in the bed, flat?

    Will an 8 foot bed be available?

    Also, why are all pickups so damn high? They didn’t used to be. How do the poor saps who actually have to load stuff into them cope (as opposed to the people who just want to look cool; you know, there are still a few people who use pickups for work).

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Typically (but not always) there is some form of arrangement to make carrying 4×8 sheets flat, possible. Granted, I have a 20-year-old mid-size, but it has pockets where 2x4s can be laid to make a raised platform of sorts over the wheel wells so that a couple of 10′ cargo straps would hold the panels in very neatly. I’ve noticed the new Colorado offers a similar type of arrangement, as does the Tacoma. It’s a case of knowing when you’re going to the yard for lumber or drywall and simply being prepared.

      Other types of bracing is available as well that can serve dual purposes of offering that raised ledge or keeping the load from shifting without needing a mile of rope and tied knots notorious for slipping. It’s all in having the tools you need when you need them and KNOWING what tools you will need.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      turf3,
      Most of our working pickups in Australia are single cabs with a 6’x8′ flat bed.

      You can stack as many sheets of ply you want and even unload them from the sides!

      If it’s a working truck who cares if it has a flat bed, which I find more useful as a work platform.

    • 0 avatar
      Spike_in_Brisbane

      This comment highlights a question I have had about US pickups. I can’t even see over the sides let alone lift something there. Aussie Utes from Ford and GM have always had a cab chassis version which can be had with a drop side tray. I have one. (Falcon) It is incredibly useful and flexible as well as comfortable. I can carry a 1.8 X 2.4 sheet flat or half a cubic meter of gravel which I can push off the side or tow a horse float and all in car like comfort unobtainable in a Hilux.
      I am so sad that their manufacture has come to an end.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Spike in Britain
        Utes like that killed off the F150 in Australia, for those reasons you mentioned

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Spike,
        The reality is the price to manufacture in Australia is astronomical and the government doesn’t want to use my tax dollars.

        The last of the Falcons cost over $7 000 in tax handouts. This is not good.

        I do believe since the new utes have arrived has made it difficult for Ford and Holden. They are quite good and more economical.

        It’s all about competition, as our market changes it will evolve. The US has yet to reach the point of removing subsidised vehicle manufacture and protectionism. This will occur eventually and the US will concentrate on higher end vehicles like the Germans.

        I read a great article yesterday about Can Hardly Davidson Motorcycles. They are struggling because baby boomers are aging and beyond the midlife crisis of wanting a Harley.

        I wonder if the same will occur with Mustangs and Camaros and pickups to a degree?

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    Even at $54,000 they’ll sell 5,000-10,000 of these a year. More, if there’s an “AMG Sport”-esque package that lowers the suspension and offers unique fascias and wheels. Heck, go all out and make a Maybach version with a leather or wool-lined bed “trunk” a la Blackwood. Put a 3-Pointed Star on a lawn mower and it will sell.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      phila,
      I’ve have heard two arguments regarding AMG’s involvement in the X Class. I have heard, No and I’ve heard “sort of”.

      I’d say if there is going to be a Mini Me Ranger Raptor AMG will need to get involved.

      I even think HSV is involved in the LS3 Colorado.

      So, if HSV drop a 6.2 in the Colorado, it wouldn’t be out of the question to have Ford drop a 3.5 EcoSieze in the Ranger.

      Then have AMG create a better diesel or even one of those small twin turbo V8s. I would hate to see the price. It would have to be at least $100k in Aussie dollars or $75k in USD.

      The standard V6 MB diesel is good for 412ftlb of torque and 264hp. That is pretty good in a midsize pickup. The XD Titan is 500ftlb and 300hp and weighs twice as much.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    Nobody buying a Mercedes truck is buying it for “workhorse” reasons. They are buying it because they like the idea of driving a truck and also like the idea of driving a Mercedes. But I think I can safely say 98% of these things will never see anything heavier than a bike in the bed and will never tow a thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      I like stuff,
      I would think the biggest customers will be retirees trekking around Australia towing a caravan or 5th wheel caravan.

      Judging by the horsepower and torque these will take on the 200 Series Landcruiser customers. I just hope the drivetrain is as rugged as the Landcruiser.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      I would like to extend the notion that these are not workhorses and note that a LOT of people buy pickups and put little more than a few Ikea furniture pieces in the bed. I’ve personally known men and women who buy these with the bed cover which almost never came off. Most suburban cul-de-sac jockeys just drive them like they would a Camry. As such I don’t see why a Mercedes pickup would be at all out of place. They don’t need to be rugged or even reliable (not like any Mercedes has done that in a while). They just need a few seats and some bling. Think how pointless the BMW 5GT is, but yet, they sell. Does anyone NEED an ugly tall hunchback sedan/coupe/whatever? It doesn’t matter if they need them, because they’re buying them!
      Too many ass-burgers in here saying “well it won’t tow a boat, or haul plywood, so it’s no good for me!” Well, it’s not FOR you! YOU can go buy a used F150 off of craigslist like the rest of the poors. Let your betters buy a silly Mercedes truck–maybe one day you can get a used one after they depreciate to your level.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        zamoti,
        Good comment.

        I sort of fit into the bracket of buying a pickup I don’t really need, like 75% of other pickup owners. I have a fully blinged leather diesel 4×4 crew cab.

        My use for it is not to earn money, but for fishing, camping, etc.

        Oddly enough I bought a large fridge a year or so ago. I got it delivered for $25! It was placed in the kitchen, plugged in and the cardboard removed. Best $25 I have spent and I own a pickup and fridge trolley!

        Most of the pickup comments are emotive and subjective. Like the good ole’50s and 60s. Everyone was rich back then, just ask a lot of the baby boomers.

        Reality and nostalgia never really align, just look at your average pickup dude on this site.

  • avatar
    carguy67

    “… the Nissan Navara-based Benz pickup …”

    So, this is a Datsun truck with three-pointed stars on it (and a 40% markup)?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Mercedes somehow figured out how to import their Sprinter vans without being chicken taxed, but suddenly can’t find a way to import a pickup without getting slammed with chickens?

    A few things don’t pass the smell test. And Sprinters are basic work vans bought by fleet cheapskate.

    Some time in the next couple years, (Nissan won’t confirm when) the Frontier will become the Navara (platform), and that’s what Mercedes could be waiting for. Yes an already existing southern US assembly plant building both (Navara platform) Frontiers and X-class Mercedes pickups, and yes, no chicken tax.

  • avatar
    Victor

    This thing is just a pimped-up Nissan Frontier. Mercedes will eventualy sell it in ‘Murica.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    At least two times the trucks with no Chicken tax?! Are you that deluded?? There’s not enough pickups in the world! Realistically, a couple more. But it’s their funeral if they can’t compete. Many have tried and failed. Some are struggling currently!!

    What’s a Futon or Mahindra (throwaway trucks) got to offer other than a very low, cut-throat price and 10 year warranty? Both a recipe for disaster.

    Drop the Chicken tax and most of the “missing” handful global pickups won’t even bother trying. The US is different than any other market. We’re too hung up on “resale value” for one.

    If a global pickup maker is considering the US market (after the chicken tax is gone or using a loophole workaround) and licking their chop over the juicy fullsize pickup segment, they’re only fooling themselves.

    Here midsize pickups have to compete with many car/SUV segments, other midsize pickups and occasionally fullsize 1/2 tons.

    More pickup competition is always good for consumers, as long as they’re not expecting a reduction in the price of current pickup offerings.

    Is anyone paying *less* for pickups now that the Colorado/Canyon came back? Except for GM fullsize pickups that saw a drop, aren’t all actual transaction prices of pickups up since they arrived??

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      This comment was @BAFO (obviously)

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Based on what I’ve been able to discover about the Mahindra, it is anything BUT a “throwaway truck.” Rather, it is a direct descendant of the Willys Jeep, having been licensed in perpetuity back when Jeep was a Kaiser brand, shortly after WWII. In fact, the Mahindra is more Jeep than the American Jeep, because it’s kept most of what made the Willys Jeep what it was.

      I do agree that we’d probably see only a handful of new truck models enter the US… there are still safety and emissions regulations that have to be followed, but GM and Fiat specifically have at least one model they could bring in without pricing them out of their market without that tax… It’s not the mid-sized trucks they’d be competing with, it would be the compact market that is currently OWNED by CUVs.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “This is more a lifestyle oriented pick-up. It’s not a basic workhorse.”

    That would be like Marchionne saying the Jeep Wrangler isn’t an off-road vehicle or the Demon isn’t a dragster or Ferrari’s aren’t meant to be driven fast.

    Why don’t they just say it is a badge engineered Nissan……… That would be just as effective as a marketing tool.

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