RUMOUR: MERCEDES-BENZ KILLS X-CLASS

Mercedes-Benz will stop producing the X-Class bakkie (pickup) sometime in May, according to a report from German newspaper Auto Motor Und Sport. Rumours of the X-Class’s demise began to surface about 9 months ago but have consistently been squashed by the company. Now it seems they have all but been confirmed. This means the X-Class will not even live to see its own facelift.

Launched internationally in July 2017 and in Mzansi in 2018, the X-Class was supposed to take on the big bakkie guns in the form of the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Isuzu D-MAX. Instead it immediately received criticism from both the motoring media as well as the commenting public regarding its unexpected lack of “premiumness” as well as perceived high pricing. The vehicle is based on the Nissan Navara.

Sales have not lived up to expectation right from the start, with 16 700 units sold globally in 2018 and 15 300 in 2019. Considering that Hilux sold 40 933 units (all body styles) last year in Mzansi alone, the X-Class was always up against its back even in the other important bakkie market, which is Australia. It was too small for the US market.

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