The mid-size truck market is booming right now but may not have room for a true luxury player.
Ever since Mercedes-Benz first announced that it was developing a mid-size pickup truck we've been wondering if it would make it to the United States. Now we have the answer, courtesy of Automotive News (AN). It's no. AN learned the bad news from Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler on the eve of the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. "Once the next version of the truck comes out -- when we see the next iteration -- there might be an opportunity to bring it in the medium and the long-term," Exler told AN.
Much like a mother scolding a child we're disappointed but not angry. Like we've said before, the issue is one of branding. Consumers stateside are willing to spend big money on trucks but only if they have construction site cred. Basically, you can't just roll out an unproven pickup and demand big bucks for it because Mercedes badge. Americans need to know that it'll be able to actually do real truck stuff even if all they want it to do is cart the kids to school and make the occasional Home Depot run. The German automaker apparently thinks that the US just isn't ready for a Mercedes truck at the moment and it may be right. "We want to bring it when we believe it makes sense as Mercedes to bring out the pickup truck," Exler told Automotive News.
So, when will the time be right for the X-Class to hit North America? Four or five years, aka the "next iteration," sounds about right. The only question we have left is will the X-Class make it to Canada? Remember that the automaker trademarked both the truck's name and its potential trim levels: X200, X250 and X350. At the time we were convinced that Mercedes-Benz would indeed be bringing its pickup to Canada, but now with this latest news we aren't so sure. Perhaps the company sees The Great White North as a test bed of sorts? The auto market in Canada is similar to the US, which means that selling the X-Class there would be a low-risk way for Mercedes to see how the truck would do in the truck-crazy United States.