And Volkswagen thinks it will be better than the Mercedes X-Class.
We count ourselves as fans of the Mercedes X-Class pickup truck which, despite our many pleas to Mercedes, probably will not be sold in the US market. Volkswagen seems to be less impressed with the X-Class because the company's Australian boss Michael Bartsch just threw some shade in Mercedes' direction. Australian outlet Motoring reports that Bartsch was being asked about a future Amarok-Ranger joint-project when the X-Class was brought up as a discussion topic. What followed was not kind to the Mercedes truck.
In reference to a potential shared platform between the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok, Bartsch said: “I would like to think that if there is a joint-venture done we would do a better job of differentiating the products between the two companies." This is an obvious jab at the X-Class, which is based on the same platform as the Nissan Navara. At $79,415 for the top-spec X 350d model, the X-Class is one of the most expensive trucks on sale in Australia.
Bartsch said that “time will tell” if this pricing model will work and that "the market is fairly sophisticated and well educated and people are prepared to pay premiums for products that are premium and earn a premium, but I think ultimately people are also concerned about not being seen to be suckers."
We would be excited for a VW-Ford joint project because it could potentially open the door for Volkswagen to finally sell one of its pickup trucks in the US. Volkswagen did tease us with a concept truck based on the Atlas SUV, but we doubt it will reach production. If the joint project with Ford does happen, Bartsch said it won't be until after the next generation of each truck goes on sale, which would be in the second half of the next decade. “It would be disingenuous to say that nothing is going on with Ford,” Bartsch said. “But I am not in a position at the moment to say what might or might not be happening.” While Volkswagen and Mercedes have a feud over their trucks, we simply wish that either company would bring one of these trucks to the US market.