Nissan builds the truck for Mercedes, which has suffered with poor sales.
As we patiently wait for Nissan to replace the Frontier pickup truck, which has been on the market since 2004, the rest of the world gets to enjoy the much newer Navara. The Navara recently received a hardcore off-road variant called the N-Trek, which made us feel even more jealous.
The Navara's platform also forms the basis of another European market pickup truck called the Mercedes-Benz X-Class. Mercedes ultimately decided not to sell the X-Class in the United States and a few other markets. So far, the truck has not sold well due to its high price tag. When asked about whether or not it will continue to produce the X-Class for Mercedes, Nissan did not seem to have many answers.
"We are doing our best to help them and that's about it," Nissan's global boss of utes and vans, Francois Bailley told CarAdvice at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, referring to Mercedes. When asked if slow X-Class sales had an impact on the Navara's production costs, Bailley said, "Mercedes did their first pick-up truck with us, I think it's a very interesting product. They have their own objective, their own customers and so on. It's for them to manage to the best of their ability."
Bailley was even asked directly if the X-Class would be discontinued and he answered, "I would need to ask you to check with them. It's their decision to see what is their portfolio going forward." And as for a next-generation model, Bailley said, "It's for them to tell us what they want to do."
Mercedes has been rumored to discontinue the X-Class after the company sold just 16,700 examples globally in 2018. By comparison, Toyota sold over 245,000 copies of the Tacoma in the US alone. We know luxury trucks can succeed in the US market but a smaller model like the X-Class would have struggled, which is why Mercedes decided not to offer it here.
Mercedes-Benz Australia issued a statement on the truck's future: "Our positioning to anything that's written in the European report is that we do not comment on speculation. To your questions, all I can say is that the X-Class is a fixed component of our Mercedes-Benz Vans product portfolio for Australia. We are focused on continuing to establish the product in the Australian market."