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Mercedez Benz News Mercedes-Benz USA Passes On X-Class Pickup... For the Time Being

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Those who were hoping that Mercedes-Benz would bring the X-Class pickup to the U.S., we have some bad news for you. Dietmar Exler, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO tells Automotive News they are passing on bringing the X-Class here for the time being. At the moment, the market doesn't make sense for Mercedes to start selling it. That doesn't mean it will never come. Exler revealed the company will continue its analysis of the U.S. market along with keep track of how well the X-Class is doing in other markets.

“It’s the biggest segment we’re not in. It’s overall an attractive, huge segment, but we need to make sure it’s the right time for Mercedes," said Exler.

Exler wouldn't give a timetable of when the X-Class could arrive in the U.S. But he did hint that the second-generation model could be in the cards.

“Once the next version of the truck comes out -- when we see the next iteration -- there might be an opportunity to bring it in the medium and the long-term.”

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)


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By the time the second generation truck comes along, I expect big changes to happen in the US and MB will truly be too late to the party. They are already late if they thought they could sell a truck here. Now they are all but forgotten. 

On the opposite side of this coin, I think this is a smart move to not bring it here. More and more you read about how MB has watered down their image and many are questioning if they really are a luxury car builder or just another Toyota, FORD,  Chevrolet brand type dealer with a few high priced models.

This truck would I think have pushed them truly into that image of a larger mass market brand and not the ubber Luxury brand they have fostered over the years. 

I wonder if this is not playing a part in the current CEO deciding to not bring the truck here.

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It's a tough market to penetrate even with penetration pricing, and the fanatical loyalty towards the domestics in general, let alone the indentured service to a single domestic brand, probably nixed the chance of this truck ever coming here.

 

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I think if they were going to sell it here it would be a commercial application under the Vans division and they probably didn't see a lot of commercial pick up sales at the price point they would want.   Plus they are a luxury car and crossover maker first.

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18 hours ago, smk4565 said:

I think if they were going to sell it here it would be a commercial application under the Vans division and they probably didn't see a lot of commercial pick up sales at the price point they would want.   Plus they are a luxury car and crossover maker first.

That happen to sell a lot of vans on the same lots. 

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9 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

That happen to sell a lot of vans on the same lots. 

I think I know why you got a downvote.  You said "a lot".

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1 hour ago, ocnblu said:

I think I know why you got a downvote.  You said "a lot".

No. That was a vote against the poster and not the post. I can guarantee that. 

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Eh, lots of makes make things that have nothing to do with their main business, and the the whole point of building a brand is to get away with things that would traditionally water down a brand.

 

And yes, I do believe that the "Mercedes" brand is a luxury carmaker first, because that part of their product portfolio vastly outstrips the profits they make from the vans division.

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Short of commercial applications (which would face stiff competition here), there really wasn't a need or a case for this truck here and Mercedes made a wise move holding off on the US market. That could change down the road, mind you, but it is clear that now is not the time. Thing is hideous anyway. 

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I think that this is the one case where this truck would end up being very un-Mercedes like because of it's roots, as in terms of ride and handling, where the domestic trucks are unusually much stronger than any import.

Even if it had a nicer interior than a Denali Canyon, it wouldn't really be that much better for the price they would charge for it.

 

Add to that, I think it would just end up being lost in the showroom in a sea of much higher priced sedans and crossovers. 

 

Plus I think if they made it overseas, would it not be subject to the chicken tax?

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Suaviloquent said:

I think that this is the one case where this truck would end up being very un-Mercedes like because of it's roots, as in terms of ride and handling, where the domestic trucks are unusually much stronger than any import.

Even if it had a nicer interior than a Denali Canyon, it wouldn't really be that much better for the price they would charge for it.

 

Add to that, I think it would just end up being lost in the showroom in a sea of much higher priced sedans and crossovers. 

 

Plus I think if they made it overseas, would it not be subject to the chicken tax?

 

 

 

I echo your sentiment. There are just too many variables working against it right now. 

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I think they'd make a handsome profit from each one sold if they managed to tie the X-Class with the same rugged branding of the G-Class.

In fact, I actually agree more with Frisky, because Mercedes is being rather conservative and taking the wait and see approach to how this truck fares elsewhere.

I think the mid-size segment may become the most dynamic with fresh offerings, even with only 2 legitimate contenders with the Honda Ridgeline being a niche within a niche.

 

I say bring in over, in spite of all the adversity, because sometimes automakers should do things that don't make sense on paper.

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Yes there is a lot more here than just to say a mindless just do it. 

You have to first consider Benz in this country is really more known as a luxury car maker not a truck maker. Sure they have vans but that is about it and most people do not even notice them anyways. Also out van market is being eaten up with global designs and the traditional American van is only alive yet in the Chevy that will soon pass. 

Next the truck market here is very competitive. more so than any segment in the market yet it is still dominated by 3 brands plus GMC. 

To make money at this Benz need volume and at this point none of the big three have really made a dent in the luxury truck market with their luxury brands. Cadillac and Lincoln both did under perform and they both found they could make the volume with Denali and King Ranch. 

Even Hummer offered a pick up bed but found few takers. I just saw an H3 pick up the other day and though how seldom seen they are. 

Benz can market this truck as a lower priced model over seas first and then get the volume up so when they decide to go to this market they can just tart up the base model and let the volume work globally. 

We see this with their cars as we mostly get the better versions here and not the taxi cab versions. So with the global volume carrying the volume this helps make the lower volume high end cars in America profitable. 

All luxury brands are not all see the same way as they are here. BMW and Benz has a large fleet market and lower end market globally that we do not see. While they see Benz as a do it all car most people here just see them as only a high end luxury brand.  Now Bentley is only a high end brand and is seen globally as a high end brand only. 

This is where Cadillac has an advantage as GM relies on Chevy and Buick for Volume it is less a burden on Cadillac to be a be all car to everyone. 

But even with that said the Cadillac was more SUV than truck and went away and Lincoln failed twice in the largest pick up market in the world. I am not sure you really would have to do a real numbers report to really get a grip of where this one would go fast. 

Trucks are not Vans so you can also discount that too. 

Keep in mind what is un Mercedes like to you is just the cheaper model in some other country. 

Edited by hyperv6

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Hummer should have had the Alpha out day one when they did a truck. That would have made them a leader with many sales. They did too little too late for the trucks in Hummer.

Cadillac had a winning truck and walked away from it for stupid reason I am pretty sure. They should have continued the Avalanche and the EXT.

Lincoln truck was cool but way too wrong for the market. Failure from the concept to the end.

MB could do a truck and I think making it part of the G-Class would be a smart way to go with a butch Military Luxury ride. I think MB could find buyers for the badge job then.

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Henry Ford should have replaced the Model T with a Mustang too.  Hummer and Alpha were years appart and it was the image of the large Hummer that killed it not the acutual vehicle. The media and eco people painted it evil and it stuck. Most people had no clue the H2 and H3 were just a Tahoe and Trailblazer under the boxy body. 

The EXT did so well they kept it in production. The stupid reason is they did not make money or enough money. Kind of the reason GM went bankrupt in the first place building cars and not making money. Ya a real stupid reason. 

Lincoln did it two ways. Once they built the truck as the concept and hardly anyone cared as it was over priced and could not haul much. They then built it like a real truck and again no one cared as there really was no market beyond the King Ranch. 

The only kind of truck Benz could make here that would sell at a very high price is a modern Unimog like go anywhere type truck. Even then it would be very low volume and have to rely on global sales as a work truck at best. 

Trucks make money because Ford and Chevy can make 2-3 million a year. When you remove the volume there is little meat on the bone and it make it difficult to make money 

Volume is like printing money on any vehicle. in truck numbers it is crazy. The EXT was a very unique vehicle and not a bad vehicle but it shared little with many of the other trucks and was much more expensive to build. The Cadillac may have made money at its price point but the Chevy would have had trouble. Today it is not just about making money but making max money per investment. You will see more product go away just because GM has to make choices and when they have a choice between making some money or a lot of money the higher total will win every time. Just the added cost of building the body and cab of the EXT added much to the cost as it was different than anything else out there. They never even moved to make it a GMC should tell you much. 

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17 hours ago, hyperv6 said:

Yes there is a lot more here than just to say a mindless just do it. 

You have to first consider Benz in this country is really more known as a luxury car maker not a truck maker. Sure they have vans but that is about it and most people do not even notice them anyways. Also out van market is being eaten up with global designs and the traditional American van is only alive yet in the Chevy that will soon pass. 

Next the truck market here is very competitive. more so than any segment in the market yet it is still dominated by 3 brands plus GMC. 

To make money at this Benz need volume and at this point none of the big three have really made a dent in the luxury truck market with their luxury brands. Cadillac and Lincoln both did under perform and they both found they could make the volume with Denali and King Ranch. 

Even Hummer offered a pick up bed but found few takers. I just saw an H3 pick up the other day and though how seldom seen they are. 

Benz can market this truck as a lower priced model over seas first and then get the volume up so when they decide to go to this market they can just tart up the base model and let the volume work globally. 

We see this with their cars as we mostly get the better versions here and not the taxi cab versions. So with the global volume carrying the volume this helps make the lower volume high end cars in America profitable. 

All luxury brands are not all see the same way as they are here. BMW and Benz has a large fleet market and lower end market globally that we do not see. While they see Benz as a do it all car most people here just see them as only a high end luxury brand.  Now Bentley is only a high end brand and is seen globally as a high end brand only. 

This is where Cadillac has an advantage as GM relies on Chevy and Buick for Volume it is less a burden on Cadillac to be a be all car to everyone. 

But even with that said the Cadillac was more SUV than truck and went away and Lincoln failed twice in the largest pick up market in the world. I am not sure you really would have to do a real numbers report to really get a grip of where this one would go fast. 

Trucks are not Vans so you can also discount that too. 

Keep in mind what is un Mercedes like to you is just the cheaper model in some other country. 

 

You could more or less apply this very same logic to the BMW X5 and MB ML. And we all know how that played out.

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2 hours ago, hyperv6 said:

Henry Ford should have replaced the Model T with a Mustang too.  Hummer and Alpha were years appart and it was the image of the large Hummer that killed it not the acutual vehicle. The media and eco people painted it evil and it stuck. Most people had no clue the H2 and H3 were just a Tahoe and Trailblazer under the boxy body. 

The EXT did so well they kept it in production. The stupid reason is they did not make money or enough money. Kind of the reason GM went bankrupt in the first place building cars and not making money. Ya a real stupid reason. 

Lincoln did it two ways. Once they built the truck as the concept and hardly anyone cared as it was over priced and could not haul much. They then built it like a real truck and again no one cared as there really was no market beyond the King Ranch. 

The only kind of truck Benz could make here that would sell at a very high price is a modern Unimog like go anywhere type truck. Even then it would be very low volume and have to rely on global sales as a work truck at best. 

Trucks make money because Ford and Chevy can make 2-3 million a year. When you remove the volume there is little meat on the bone and it make it difficult to make money 

Volume is like printing money on any vehicle. in truck numbers it is crazy. The EXT was a very unique vehicle and not a bad vehicle but it shared little with many of the other trucks and was much more expensive to build. The Cadillac may have made money at its price point but the Chevy would have had trouble. Today it is not just about making money but making max money per investment. You will see more product go away just because GM has to make choices and when they have a choice between making some money or a lot of money the higher total will win every time. Just the added cost of building the body and cab of the EXT added much to the cost as it was different than anything else out there. They never even moved to make it a GMC should tell you much. 

 

So much wrong here.

 

1) The Blackwood (first one) was far ahead of it's time. The Mark LT was just nothing more than F-150 with some extra (ugly) bits. Not the same thing as an MB truck.

 

2) Trucks make money because they sell a ton AND because there is massive profit margin in them. There is literally NO other vehicle on the market that makes it's MFR as much profit as trucks. Massive sale numbers help, but they're not needed to justify trucks themselves. Maybe the development of other vehicles that DON'T make profit. MB has no such problem.

 

3) The EXT was nothing more than an Avalanche with a badge job and some extra goodies. It wasn't some special one-off vehicle they developed, and I'm really confused why you are insinuating as much.  

 

 

MB building a truck like this and not doing it for the global market is just beyond dumb. It's an easy cash grab and there won't be a second chance. By the time this truck runs through it's life cycle, the market will have shifted far too much towards EV's and/or autonomous vehicles.

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7 hours ago, Frisky Dingo said:

 

You could more or less apply this very same logic to the BMW X5 and MB ML. And we all know how that played out.

Apples to Oranges my friend. 

SUV and Crossover rules do not apply to trucks. 

The Demo for crossovers and SUV models is much broader than the Trucks. Considering half the market is also now made up of women they play a big factor in the purchase of SUV/Cross over models. 

Men on the other hand are still the majority of truck buyers. 

And with that same logic is why we can apply this to the Lincoln trucks and Cadillac semi truck and we know how that all played out. 

 

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7 hours ago, Frisky Dingo said:

 

So much wrong here.

 

1) The Blackwood (first one) was far ahead of it's time. The Mark LT was just nothing more than F-150 with some extra (ugly) bits. Not the same thing as an MB truck.

 

2) Trucks make money because they sell a ton AND because there is massive profit margin in them. There is literally NO other vehicle on the market that makes it's MFR as much profit as trucks. Massive sale numbers help, but they're not needed to justify trucks themselves. Maybe the development of other vehicles that DON'T make profit. MB has no such problem.

 

3) The EXT was nothing more than an Avalanche with a badge job and some extra goodies. It wasn't some special one-off vehicle they developed, and I'm really confused why you are insinuating as much.  

 

 

MB building a truck like this and not doing it for the global market is just beyond dumb. It's an easy cash grab and there won't be a second chance. By the time this truck runs through it's life cycle, the market will have shifted far too much towards EV's and/or autonomous vehicles.

The Blackwood was a Luxury truck that had very high grade appointments plush carpeted bed, aluminum trim and burl-wood. As for the MB we have no real concrete evidence of what it would have been here since it was never built.

Volume of trucks do pay off the tooling and the many cost involved with different variations. They are the highest profit models out there accept for some high end luxury products.

To develop this vehicle at Benz since they have nothing to base it off of would limit profits as most of the development money spent would have to be recouped over a smaller number of models.  If they go global first and offer it as a work vehicle in other markets first then they can do other variations much more profitably. It is simple economics of scale. 

I agree the EXT was a badge job. It had nothing but some extra trim and extra options. But yet the sales and profits were still not enough to bring it back. I would have to assume since it it shared little with other models body wise it was not a cheap model to build. Just the converticab has to hold some major cost do to the number of parts needed to make it up. 

But with that said even with it being nearly as much SUV as truck it did not save it as people either got the truck or SUV more often than the hybrid. 

Don't get me wrong I liked the idea and thought it would have been better suited to the Trailblazer LWB. But there again like the GMC Envoy with the sliding top it was just too expensive and most people who wanted a truck just bought the truck. 

You can argue all you like but the fact is MB is not building it and odds are good it was due to the economics or limited nature of profits. Trust me if this were a sure gold mine do you really think they would have pulled out from doing it.

Companies look at these things six ways to Sunday and if the numbers are not there they seldom take the big risk. 

If you still disagree you need to e mail Benz and tell them they don't know what they are doing. You may want to send along your studies so they can compare?

 

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3 hours ago, hyperv6 said:

Apples to Oranges my friend. 

SUV and Crossover rules do not apply to trucks. 

The Demo for crossovers and SUV models is much broader than the Trucks. Considering half the market is also now made up of women they play a big factor in the purchase of SUV/Cross over models. 

Men on the other hand are still the majority of truck buyers. 

And with that same logic is why we can apply this to the Lincoln trucks and Cadillac semi truck and we know how that all played out. 

 

 

The demograph for such vehicles is only so broad because of those vehicles. When they arrived, that was not the case. You had the handful of established players, just like you do in today's truck market.

2 hours ago, hyperv6 said:

The Blackwood was a Luxury truck that had very high grade appointments plush carpeted bed, aluminum trim and burl-wood. As for the MB we have no real concrete evidence of what it would have been here since it was never built.

Volume of trucks do pay off the tooling and the many cost involved with different variations. They are the highest profit models out there accept for some high end luxury products.

To develop this vehicle at Benz since they have nothing to base it off of would limit profits as most of the development money spent would have to be recouped over a smaller number of models.  If they go global first and offer it as a work vehicle in other markets first then they can do other variations much more profitably. It is simple economics of scale. 

I agree the EXT was a badge job. It had nothing but some extra trim and extra options. But yet the sales and profits were still not enough to bring it back. I would have to assume since it it shared little with other models body wise it was not a cheap model to build. Just the converticab has to hold some major cost do to the number of parts needed to make it up. 

But with that said even with it being nearly as much SUV as truck it did not save it as people either got the truck or SUV more often than the hybrid. 

Don't get me wrong I liked the idea and thought it would have been better suited to the Trailblazer LWB. But there again like the GMC Envoy with the sliding top it was just too expensive and most people who wanted a truck just bought the truck. 

You can argue all you like but the fact is MB is not building it and odds are good it was due to the economics or limited nature of profits. Trust me if this were a sure gold mine do you really think they would have pulled out from doing it.

Companies look at these things six ways to Sunday and if the numbers are not there they seldom take the big risk. 

If you still disagree you need to e mail Benz and tell them they don't know what they are doing. You may want to send along your studies so they can compare?

 

 

The Blackwood was an attempt at luxury done by a brand that hasn't been a true luxury player in several decades. Quite a difference.

 

Of course volume helps, but it's not a necessity by default. MD could easily build this truck off one of the chassis that underpins their SUV's.

 

I couldn't care less if MB builds it or doesn't. I'm not buying it. But to build it for other markets and not sell it here would be incredibly short-sighted, and I think you'd have a very difficult time finding someone to disagree with you. The US is the biggest truck market there is. To ignore it and go into other markets with a from-scratch truck would be a business blunder.

Edited by Frisky Dingo

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What you leave out is when they arrived cars were RWD and large and today they are small and unable to haul things. Hell i had an average size box I picked up at Fed Ex and it would not go into the large trunk because the opening was too small. 

The Demo changed because the market changed. People are wanting utility and they like the smaller models today. This opened the door to women who buy practical and now that they are smaller they are easier to drive. 

As for Lincoln they were doing well and when you were the only product in the market if there was any real demand they would have sucked it up. So they thought well we made it too car like with the carpet in the bed and panels that would dent. So they built the later model when trucks like the King Ranch were selling well. It lasted a year or so. I have seen very few. I laughed when I was at John Forces shop and he came in in one. He said it was just an over priced truck. 

Converting a Unibody SUV to a truck would still take some real investment unlike rebadging a GMC to a Denali. 

Well if you don't care then you should understand they may have a good handle on this and it is not a wise thing for them to do now. Calling them short sighted with out having any data to back it up sounds more like you care. 

Well if you had 4-5 billion to spend and you run a real risk of not making it back short therm would you be willing to put you butt on the line? This is no sure thing and in today's market there is little room for failures anymore. Development cost are much too high and with the market slowing down it would be foolish to take such a risk here in the states. 

To be honest there would be more market in the middle east but then with the conditions there one expansion of the fighting and you could lose that market over night. 

I have been dealing with people in Oman and it is not good over there. 

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On 11/27/2016 at 9:45 AM, surreal1272 said:

Short of commercial applications (which would face stiff competition here), there really wasn't a need or a case for this truck here and Mercedes made a wise move holding off on the US market. That could change down the road, mind you, but it is clear that now is not the time. Thing is hideous anyway. 

Agree once again on hideous....

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