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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Mercedes-Benz Hopes X-Class Can Be As Successful As Their SUVs

      Will pickup trucks become a status symbol like SUVs in Europe? Mercedes hopes so.

    SUVs at one time were seen as utility vehicles that could get you through the worst mother nature had on offer. Now SUVs have moved upmarket, becoming a status symbol at the school's parking lot and not tacking some off-road trail. Mercedes-Benz believes something similar could happen with pickup trucks.

    "SUVs are elegant lifestyle products with a high-quality finish to them. Not every customer takes them into the wilderness anymore. We believe pickups could go in a similar direction," said Volker Mornhinweg, Mercedes-Benz vans boss to Automotive News.

    Mercedes-Benz will soon be launching their first truck, the X-Class in a number of markets. Certain markets such as Europe and South Africa, Mercedes hopes to capture "trend-conscious individuals".

    There is a big pitfall to Mercedes' prediction. JATO Dynamics wrote in a research note that the X-Class will face "several challenges" in Europe where many customers see pickup trucks as work vehicles, not something like a daily driver. But that might be changing. As we reported last week, sales of pickup trucks in Europe have been climbing steadily.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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    I think there are a good number of people that will buy a pickup, even in Europe and it has a 3 pointed star on the front so people will want it.  I don’t expect it to be a top seller of theirs by any means but I am sure they will turn profit on it.

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    Money will be made, but Europe will probably stay mid size as the biggest for now till they finally rebuild all those old roads. I doubt in our lifetime we will ever see full size American trucks common on European roads.

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    Must have been a really low effort on M-Bs part..they didn't even bother to change the rest of the body...just a different nose on a generic Asian body (funny thing is--the Nissan Navara, Toyota Hilux, Isuzu something and Ford Ranger all have similar profiles w/ the kickup of the back side window). 

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    44 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Must have been a really low effort on M-Bs part..they didn't even bother to change the rest of the body...just a different nose on a generic Asian body (funny thing is--the Nissan Navara, Toyota Hilux, Isuzu something and Ford Ranger all have similar profiles w/ the kickup of the back side window). 

    Rebadging at it's finest and GM got grilled over the coals for doing this shit during the 90's.

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    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    Rebadging at it's finest and GM got grilled over the coals for doing this $h! during the 90's.

    Well, GM was roasted over the coals for badge engineering from about 1975-2005 or so, at least until bankruptcy.  The old line was: make it cheap; make it common.

    One body, with a few tweaks and sold to different automakers, is rebadging at its best. (PCs and tablets are great examples.)  In the old days, GM did not need 4 or 5 of the same vehicle; only two would do well and not crush profits.  GM has largely stopped badge engineering since BK and is doing a lot better.

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    Europe will probably stay mid size as the biggest for now till they finally rebuild all those old roads.

    There are 13 million HD trucks rolling across the EU. 75% of their freight goes by truck. F/S pickups are not prevented by road width in the EU.

     

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    In the old days, GM did not need 4 or 5 of the same vehicle; only two would do well and not crush profits.

    You'd have to specify when these "old days" you are talking about were, because at one point in time 4 or 5 of the "same" vehicles helped power GM to over 50% of the US market.

    Edited by balthazar
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    It's not bad looking but I bet the premium for this over a Taco or Canyon is probably way too much. 

    I actually would have liked them to being over a half ton here to compete with the likes of GM and Ford..oh and Ram. I'm mostly just curious what they could do to a half ton. They have engines and 4WD systems already.. I bet if they converted the G Wagen into a truck it'd sell like hot cakes. But that's more mid-size truck than a half ton. 

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    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    It's not bad looking but I bet the premium for this over a Taco or Canyon is probably way too much. 

    I actually would have liked them to being over a half ton here to compete with the likes of GM and Ford..oh and Ram. I'm mostly just curious what they could do to a half ton. They have engines and 4WD systems already.. 

    That would require a big investment to develop a full size truck platform for the NA market...

    Or they could just sell a tarted-up version of the existing hellacool Sprinter dropside here, revised w/ a more conventional bed.   It is available in short- and long-bed versions, regular cab and double cab..

    https://www.mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/unitedkingdom/mpc/mpc_unitedkingdom_website/en/home_mpc/van/home/new_vans/models/sprinter/sprinter-dropside.html

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    3 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    That would require a big investment to develop a full size truck platform for the NA market...

    Or they could just sell a tarted-up version of the existing hellacool Sprinter dropside here, revised w/ a more conventional bed.   It is available in short- and long-bed versions, regular cab and double cab..

    https://www.mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/unitedkingdom/mpc/mpc_unitedkingdom_website/en/home_mpc/van/home/new_vans/models/sprinter/sprinter-dropside.html

    Oh it would absolutely be pricey but I just think it would be cool to see what they could do with a truck from the ground up. Mercedes makes great vehicles. They might be on the bland side but they are great performers and they have the tools and knowledge for both off-roading and real truck work with their line of work vehicles and the gnarly Unimog. 

    I'd rather see them make a truck than the Coupe SUVs, 

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