Published on February 3rd, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class Is Officially Being Discontinued
We had high hopes to see the only premium branded pick-up truck on Malaysian roads one day, but it looks like Mercedes-Benz will be taking the X-Class out of showrooms soon. The X-Class was launched in late 2017 and we thought we might see a right-hand drive version being specced for the market, as light commercial vehicles would have less duties imposed on them.
However, Mercedes-Benz had sold less than 17,000 of the things in its first year of production, with numbers dropping even further in its second year. This may have been the first strike for the X-Class, but there are other reasons why it’s being pulled from the market.
The second reason may be related to why the X-Class wasn’t brought to Malaysia in the first place. When we asked the top brass at Mercedes-Benz Malaysia why they weren’t considering the product, two things were brought up. Firstly, pricing would be tough to get right. Even in Europe, the truck starts at nearly 16,000 euros above the Nissan Navara upon which it is based. Secondly, a pick-up truck in the stable might start to erode the brand value.
Mercedes-Benz buyers in Malaysia (and in many other markets) hold the brand in high regard. Bread and butter products like the C-,E-, and S-Class partly derive their status from the relative exclusivity that the three-pointed star commands. A more affordable truck option would somewhat tarnish that image.
Finally, there’s also the compound problem of it being an outsourced product. The X-Class is built by the Renault-Nissan Alliance. This may limit Daimler’s ability to influence pricing and thus margins. Selling a low-volume product for low margins and being at the mercy of another entity makes its a very uncomfortable product for the company to continue to offer.