Mercedes X-Class to be dropped: report
Daimler sources say poor sales will mark the death knell of expensive bakkie
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class bakkie is be discontinued due to poor sales, according to reports.
Automotive News Europe quoted sources at Daimler as saying that the pickup will be dropped as the company seeks to reduce costs, though they did not say when.
The X-Class was launched internationally in 2017, and in SA in 2018, as a premium double cab bakkie based on the Nissan Navara, initially with a Nissan four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine and later with a more powerful Mercedes V6 added to the line-up.
However, the bakkie has proven less popular than expected, and in 2018 only 16,700 units were sold in its three markets: Europe, Australia and SA. It has sold less than 500 units in SA so far this year compared to rivals such as the market-leading Toyota Hilux, which has garnered about 20,000 sales.
The X-Class is expensive, with the range-topping V6 model selling for about R1m, and has received mixed reviews with criticism levelled at aspects of its interior quality.
Several recalls also hit sales, among other things because of a footwell light that can come loose and jam under the brake pedal.
As part of Daimler’s industrial co-operation with Renault-Nissan, the X-Class uses the same platform as the Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan with a conventional ladder-type frame. It is built at Nissan's factory in Barcelona, Spain.
According to Automotive News, former Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche earlier this year abandoned plans to build the bakkie for South American markets at a Renault-Nissan plant in Argentina.
The response from Mercedes-Benz SA: “This is speculation and we cannot comment on speculation.”