Upmarket Mistake: Mercedes-Benz X-Class Ends Production in May

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
2 of 25 comments
  • Roadranger Roadranger on Feb 02, 2020

    "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.

  • Fred Fred on Feb 03, 2020

    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.

  • Picard234 I can just smell the clove cigarettes and the "oregano" from the interior. Absolutely no dice at any price.
  • Dartdude The Europeans don't understand the American market. That is why they are small players here. Chrysler Group is going to die pretty soon under their control. Europeans have a sense of superiority over Americans that is why the Mercedes merger didn't work out and almost killed Chrysler. Bringing European managers aren't going to help. Just like F1 they want our money. We need Elon Musk to buy out Chrysler, Dodge and Ram from Stellantis.
  • Michael S6 I would take the Mustang for the soundtrack. However, practically a BMW M340ix or M240ix would be my choice.
  • Michael S6 Took my car for oil change on Friday and dealership was working on paper. Recently one of the major health care system in our area was hacked and they had to use paper backup for three weeks. What a nightmare.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Once e-mail was adopted by my former employer, we were coached about malice software as early as the 90's. We called it "worms" back then.They were separating the computers that ran the power plants from the rest of the system in the early 00's. One plant supervisor loaded vacation pictures from a thumb drive on his work PC. His PC was immediately isolated and the supervisor in question was made an example of via a disciplinary notice. Word spread quickly!!Last I heard, they still had their own data center!! Cloud Computing, what's that?!?! 🚗🚗🚗