By on July 17, 2019

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup truck is the company’s attempt to get in on the growing pickup truck market on a global scale. Based on Nissan’s Navarra, it’s a premium mid-sized offering available in select markets that are not the United States.

If the latest reports are true, it’s also a dead product.

Automotive News Europe recently reported that Daimler has killed the truck due to slumping sales. It hasn’t been on the market long, being introduced in 2017. But, with only 16,700 units sold last year in Europe, Australia and South Africa, it wasn’t shaping up to be a winner. While it did do better than the Navarra-based Renault Alaskan, the Navarra itself performed significantly better in sales. 

Pricing was high. It started at €37,294 (about $41,900 USD). Seems like an open and shut case. But one of the key pickup truck markets is the United States, which wasn’t a market considered for the X-Class. Part of that is because of the Chicken Tax, which would require a 25 percent import tariff if it wasn’t built here.

I’m sad to see the truck go. Premium trucks do extremely well in the United States, and if Mercedes-Benz would’ve found a way to build the truck here, I believe it would have done well. The only premium midsize truck on sale is the GMC Canyon, and it shares an interior with the Colorado which isn’t particularly upscale.

In the fall, I had a chance to drive the Navarra in Africa and found it to be a competent, fun truck. One of the European journalists I was partnered with considered the Navarra — with its LED headlights and dual-zone climate control — premium. Here in the United States, those features on now standard on most mid-range trucks.

My point is that X-Class was closer to a proper premium offering, which is non-existent in the midsize segment. The midsize segment isn’t dominated by an American-based manufacturer. The opportunity was there, but Mercedes didn’t want to try.

That’s unfortunate.

 

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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18 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pickup Truck Already Dead: Report...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Sanity prevails.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Mercedes got so much wrong with this…no surprise it failed.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Yeah, it got completely killed by the Ranger and others.

      I test drove the V6 X-Class thinking it might be a good motorcycle and other hobby-hauler plus work truck for the summer home, instead of paying through the nose for a RAM at European prices. But there is no way I’d buy that X-Class junk: the interior was absolute garbage for just about any price, let alone that ‘premium’ price. The seats were inexcusably terrible, the gearshift lever just exuded 80’s Russian quality, and in general the whole cabin was far inferior to any rental vans I’d used in the last years. Fiat’s and Renault’s cheap vans were high quality in comparison. I immediately scratched any plans to even get a basic X-Class for light work/errand use at our factory.

      How could they get it so wrong?

      • 0 avatar
        James Charles

        Lockstops,
        You are incorrect “Ranger and the others” already were in the market for years.

        MB used a mediocre platform.

        You can’t polish a turd. That’s where MB failed.

      • 0 avatar

        Lockstops, you just described pickup made by Nissan. I wonder why is that?

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Haha, yeah well I figured that the Nissan technical bits would be just fine, it’s just that for some reason Mercedes didn’t put in any kind of ‘Mercedes facade’ on the interior!

          I never would’ve thought they’d have such a failure of an interior. I didn’t think anyone (except Tesla) would make such horrible interiors. The seat alone was functionally so bad that who could consider buing it, living with it?? And I’ve never even had back problems!!

    • 0 avatar
      James Charles

      APaGttH,
      You are correct.

      All the reviews state the X Class was a reasonable pickup, but the price didn’t warrant buying one.

      MB also slated the X Class as luxury and prestige separating itself from its commercial vehicle lineup, which are competing with mainstream brands.

      MB tried to make a fast easy dollar, but the consumer rejected the average performance tagged with a ridiculous price.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    MB knows how to make a commercial vehicle with a ladder frame; this should have been real simple to make the Mercedes of pickups but they phoned in a warmed-over Nissan instead.

  • avatar
    retrocrank

    Nothing has changed- still can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    A Mercedes-Benz truck is just too pretentious. People will buy a loaded-up Ford or Chevy, but not a “luxury” truck. Remember the Lincoln Blackwood? Yeah, ford would like to forget it as well, but for some reason they like Lincoln trucks in Mexico where it’s still sold

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I bet the X-Class wasn’t part of the image Mercedes-Benz is trying to cultivate here, and that’s why they didn’t try to build it in the US.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    A. Nissan and Mercedes agreed on co-operation in 2010.

    B. By 2012, Nissan/Infiniti was breaking ground on two new engine factories for the Mercedes M170 four cylinder turbo engine, the 208 hp version for itself a, the 241 hp version for C Class production in Alabama supplied by a new plant in Decherd TN.

    https://infinitinews.com/en-US/infiniti/usa/releases/42c91112-dadb-4f12-b4c5-3f19dcbde1ec?la=1

    The other engine plant in Sunderland UK and the one in Decherd cost over $300 million each. The British one was to make engines for the Q30 and QX30 to be made there, both of which were a Mercedes GLA underneath. 

    C. The two automakers then decided to build a joint plant in Aguascalientes Mexico, one-half Nissan/Infiniti, one half Mercedes. The new QX50 is made there.

    D. Then in 2015 Mercedes decided to make that deluxe Navarro pickup in Nissan’s Spanish facility.

    E. The cooperation has all come tumbling down. 

    1. First, the cooperation to make luxury cars ended on Jan 6, 2017.

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/01/06/business/corporate-business/nissan-ending-joint-development-luxury-cars-daimler/#.XS-BKHvQ-dl

    Nissan couldn’t sell enough Infinitis in Europe or anywhere else for that matter, and decided to can the Q30/QX30 earlier this year. They have decided to basically exit Europe with Infiniti anyway.

    2. Mercedes decided to can the M170 series turbo four after only four years, replacing it with the M160 series, two-thirds of their new inline six. So, Infiniti was stuck with two production lines to make the old engine, over $600 million in capital investment. Mercedes is shipping new engines from Germany to Alabama for the new C-Class, not buying anything from Infiniti Decherd TN. Nissan has more than a four-year timeline for technical investment, unlike Mercedes, and is presumably unhappy at the turn of events with Mercedes making that new engine.

    3. Infiniti cannot sell enough QX50s, so are now sharing line time with Mercedes at Aguascalientes to produce them, instead of running their half of the factory as originally planned.

    4. Mercedes has now canned their pickup leaving Nissan Spain in the lurch.

    Funny how Mercedes managed to finesse Nissan/Infiniti at every turn. Nissan makes (made) stuff for Mercedes, but Mercedes makes nothing for Nissan – floorpans for the old QX30 are no longer needed. Seems like Ghosn got outmaneuvered by the Mercedes Handlebar Mustache every time.

    So I’d like to know who canceled this Mercedes pick-up. Did Nissan finally fight back and tell Mercedes to hoof it? Unlikely, it was a half-hearted effort on Mercedes’ part to begin with, probably just them meeting some part of their original agreement. Mercedes basically won on all the deals.

    Failure of the co-operation is probably one more reason Nissan wasn’t too keen on Ghosn, I’d bet. And Infiniti is just a shadow of its former self, struggling mightily.

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    A Mercedes compact pickup based on a Nissan who can’t even be bothered to make its own products competitive these days? Gee, wonder why it failed?

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Had a 2019 Versa SV for a rental for the day Thursday. Underwhelming, if competent. Visibility excellent, and I could rest my elbow on the door sill, better than in my new Accord. Good acceleration off the line, then once you hit 4K rpm, forward progress becomes glacial even as the engine moans away. Truly an appliance!

      But why, dear Lord, is there an “OD OFF” switch on a CVT??!!

  • avatar
    downunder

    Yes, it is unfortunate that they didn’t try to differentiate between the two. It was so glaringly obvious where the X class came from when you saw a Navarra and an X parked beside each other. Downunder the premium price bought tweaked suspension and a slightly wider bed. Premium trucks aren’t big sellers, who what to take an $80,000 plus vehicle on a building site just to cart concrete around, that’s why you buy a Great Wall pickup.


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