Even the best carmakers in the world make mistakes.
Nearly everyone was surprised when Mercedes-Benz felt it was necessary to have a pickup truck. On the one hand, pickup truck sales were increasing in numerous markets other than the US. Luxury pickups were non-existent, so Mercedes figured there could be a niche to tap into. The result was the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, which launched for 2017.
And now, barely two years later, it's being discontinued. Automotive News Europe reports that Mercedes' parent company, Daimler, has made this decision in order to reduce costs. There has been concern lately regarding a potential drop in profits, and Daimler wisely does not want to take any chances. The X-Class, as most of you recall, is simply a rebadged Nissan Navara.
Available in Europe, Australia, and South Africa, a total of 16,700 units were sold last year. Because the Navara was never homologated for the US, the X-Class could never be sold here. It never would have sold anyway given the local competition. The X-Class didn't even get off to a good start in the markets it was available in. For starters, it was too expensive. Base price: 37,294 euros. Several recall notices also didn't help things.
The X-Class also faced formidable competition from two other well-established nameplates in Europe, the Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger. The X-Class, in hindsight, was a mistake, but it was a mistake Mercedes could afford to make given the fact it surpassed both BMW and Audi as the best-selling luxury automaker.
Sometimes chances pay off big time. Just look at the first-generation BMW X6. Mercedes also has zero immediate plans for another pickup truck overseas or in North America. We've inquired with Mercedes USA about this subject and were told it's not even being considered. Detroit owns the pickup truck segment, both mid-size and full-size. Toyota is also a formidable player. It simply wouldn't make financial sense for Mercedes here. And now, apparently, that's the case everywhere else as well.