Since when was selling a truck in the US ever a bad business decision?
We still have a lot of questions about the new Mercedes-Benz pickup truck, the X-Class. One of the biggest concerns its availability in the United States, or lack thereof. The German automaker hasn’t come out and said whether the truck will be sold stateside, but AutoGuide has found a bit of evidence which has given us hope. The Canadian outlet unearthed a Canadian trademark filing for three names: X-Class, X200, X250 and X350. Mercedes hasn’t said if the X-Class will be sold in Canada, but this news makes it seem like a lock that it will be.
Mercedes already has the trademark for X-Class in the United States, although we couldn’t dig up any filings for X200, X250 or X350. We weren’t shocked to find the filing for X-Class as you’d expect an automaker to protect model names in all the countries it operates in. However, Mercedes did a bit more in the case of Canada, protecting all the trim levels as well. Why do all that if you aren’t planning on launching the X-Class there? Also, why only sell it in Canada when there is a very similar market immediately to the south that does a lot more business? In case the Germans haven’t noticed, Americans love pickup trucks and SUVs. If anything, the reluctance around pulling the trigger on a US launch may have to do with perception.
Simply put, even though Americans buy pricey trucks the primary perception of them is as vehicles built for work, whether that’s at a construction site or weekend trailer hauling. American trucks have had this reputation for eons, but it took foreign automakers some time to develop the necessary street cred. Do you remember the first Japanese trucks sold in America? Pepperidge Farm does. Mercedes' current reputation is as a luxury car maker, which is great when you’re selling luxury cars. But the Silver Arrow wants its truck to be viewed as one that can do actual work. That idea is going to be tough to sell to Americans who associate the brand with ambitious young accountants and upper class soccer moms.
Despite that major hurdle we think Mercedes will still try and dip its fingers into the honey pot that is the America truck and SUV market. If it’s willing to give it a shot in Canada why not put in the extra effort to swing for the fences, eh?