Mercedes-Benz has reportedly sealed the fate of the slow-selling X-Class by confirming that global production of its first pick-up, co-developed with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, will come to an end in May this year after a model run of three years.
Coming on the back of news revealed on Thursday (30 January) that the three-pointed had pulled the pin on its equivalent of the Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan due to poor sales in key markets, of which South Africa is one, Australia’s caradvice.com.au reports that Benz, in a short statement, merely stated that, “It has been decided that from the end of May 2020, we will no longer produce this relatively young model”.
The axing of the X-Class comes on the back of Spain’s La Vangardia newspaper reporting that production at Nissan’s Barcelona plant had fallen to a mere 8 000 units in 2019 from the 16 700 in 2018, and after motor1.com Brazil reported that attempts to boost production by using Nissan’s Santa Isabel plant in Argentina had backfired due to alleged contractual disputes between executives from both marques.
Down Under, another market Stuttgart had identified as key for the X-Class, sales have been weak with only 2 126 examples having been moved throughout the entire 12 months of 2019, a figure representing a mere 1.2% of the lucrative 4×4 double cab segment led by the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and the Mitsubishi Triton.
Less clear cut are X-Class sales in South Africa due to Mercedes-Benz not reporting individual model sales come the monthly NAAMSA figures.