Upmarket Mistake: Mercedes-Benz X-Class Ends Production in May
After a short and troubled life, a Mercedes-Benz that’s mostly a Nissan will cease to exist come May, leaving behind a legacy fleet to serve as evidence of the unusual pickup pair-up.
The X-Class arrived on the scene in 2017 but failed to catch on with the buying public. Perhaps, despite the best efforts of Mercedes-Benz engineers, there was simply too much Nissan Navara showing through?
The automaker confirmed the long-rumored discontinuation to German outlet Auto Motor und Sport, claiming the tony midsize pickup only wowed customers in niche markets like Australia and South Africa.
A number of things hampered the model’s global sales, chief among them the decision to leave the North American market alone. That said, it’s difficult to imagine domestic customers springing for such a product, given the prevalence of ultra-lux full-size Detroit Three pickups.
Built in Barcelona, Spain at the same Nissan plant that cranks out scores of Nissan Navaras for overseas customers, the X-Class sold just 15,300 examples worldwide last year. In comparison, the Navara found 66,000 buyers in the first half of 2019.
It was clear early on that the X-Class, despite being a relatively new product, would not live a long life. JATO Dynamics revealed that, in the first quarter of 2018, the X-Class captured just 4.5 percent of the European pickup truck market — a market made up solely of midsize models. Initial plans to put the truck into production in South America met with resistance and eventual cancellation. The automaker claimed at the time, “The basis for this was above all that the price expectations of customers in Latin America cannot be represented economically.”
In Germany, the restyled and rebadged Nissan starts at just under $54,000.
While the X-Class has little time left, customers looking for something a little more upscale than the basic Navara will still be able to purchase another Navara rip-off: the Renault Alaskan.
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"The automaker confirmed the long-rumored discontinuation to German outlet Auto Motor und Sport, claiming the tony midsize pickup only wowed customers in niche markets like Australia and South Africa." I can confirm that in fact no one was 'wowed' by these vehicles in Australia. In a market that has an absolute chub for anything dual-cab, these things are dealer lot poison. There were very few people willing to hand over Mercedes dollars for Nissan product.
I've been up for about an hour and I can't remember a single car commercial. I come back here and scroll thru them and now I remember the Hyundai ad. I didn't get the accent thing.