Mercedes is going to sell a Benz-bopped version of the mid-sized Nissan Navara in Europe and South America – and may bring the thing stateside, too.
The X Class would possibly be diesel-powered, which would challenge the diesel-powered GM mid-sized pick-ups (Canyon and Colorado) and would also be the only luxury-badged truck on the market.
Cadillac dropped the full-size Escalade EXT and Ford’s Lincoln division never made much hay with the Blackwood.
“In the past year the midsized truck market has come back a bit. General Motors is launching a midsized truck. We are watching developments very closely, and we will take a decision at the appropriate time,” Volker Mornhinweg of Mercedes-Benz said.
U.S. sales of midsize pickups rose 26 percent to nearly 450,000 in 2016. GM, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. have introduced redesigned or all-new pickups in the segment, and Ford plans to revive the Ranger later this decade.
The X class will share underpinnings with the Nissan NP300/Navara and Renault Alaskan. It will be built by Nissan in Spain starting this year and by Renault in Argentina in 2018. The pickup is the latest product in an industrial alliance between Daimler and Renault-Nissan.
Asked where Mercedes might build the pickups for sale in the United States, Mornhinweg said that its current production capacity in Argentina was unlikely to be sufficient to serve the U.S. market.
A new production site in the U.S. was likely to be considered, he said.