Mercedes ute already dead? Euro report offers bleak outlook for X-Class
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We quite liked the Mercedes-Benz X-Class when we drove it in various guises and places last year. But beyond those encouraging first words, it's been hard to find positive press about the model in the time that's passed since.
Most recently, the pick-up's future was plunged into uncertainty after Mercedes boss Ola Källenius told German outlet Manager Magazin that the brand were keen to "end the co-operation" with Nissan-Renault because "almost all common businesses are in the red".
It was an article that prompted many (including the source publication, and us) to connect the dots and wonder whether the X-Class had much of a future without a Nissan Navara surrogate underpinning it. And now a fresh report from another outlet, Automotive New Europe, has added more weight to the idea.
In their new report, the outlet says that the X-Class will soon be dropped from the Mercedes line-up — citing anonymous sources said to be from Daimler.
"Only 16,700 units of the X class were sold last year in Europe, Australia and South Africa. The U.S., where demand is mainly for full-size pickups, was ruled out as a market," says the report.
"Right from the start, the X class was unable to live up to expectations. Its price, starting at 37,294 euros in Germany, was too high. Competition is fierce in its segment, in which VW Amarok and Ford Ranger also compete."
That trend appears to be reflected in New Zealand, too. Local sales of the X-Class did pick up a tad with the introduction of the more powerful V6 engine towards the end of last year. But, even so, it's registration data still pales in comparison to the likes of the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.
We mused back in June that the death of Mercedes-Benz's partnership with Nissan-Renault would leave them with three options; developing their own ute platform, finding a new manufacturer to buddy with, or simply to leave utes altogether.
Option three, it appears, is looking much more likely.