Is Mercedes-Benz Scared of North America?
When it comes to the automotive industry in North America some vehicles perform well that are imports and others simply don’t make it at all. Most of the time it depends upon the target audience for the model being offered to determine whether or not a vehicle will perform well and sell like the brand wants, which makes it difficult for new models to break into the market sometimes. You would think a brand with a long history of admirable success in the US, such as Mercedes-Benz, would have no problem introducing new models onto the market for us to enjoy the ride.
The fact is Mercedes-Benz has created a new class of vehicle for its brand and that new vehicle may not be right for the North American market at all. This new class of vehicle is called the X-Class and it’s a pickup truck. Imagine a luxury based pickup truck on the market that starts out as a luxury ride and moves upward from there. The X-Class could be the perfect truck for the Texas rancher that has several hundred acres of land and many ranch hands on the property to help them get the job done.
The original expectation for the X-Class is a release that would be a truck that would be offered in North America, Europe, South America, South Africa and Australia but this truck has now be deleted from the North American market. The release date is expected to be sometime later this year in the other markets, but why would Mercedes-Benz pull out of the North American market and not bring their luxury pickup here? Is it possible this brand that has been a strong competitor with some of the highest class luxury cars and SUVs is now afraid of what might happen should they bring their luxury truck to the US?
The fact is fear could be the driving force with this truck and its reveal. While there are some markets and areas of the country that thrive on the highest trim levels of the pickup trucks from Ford, Ram and GM there are others that simply love their smaller and more affordable work trucks. The new X-Class not only has to be a luxury ride but it needs to come in with the power and capability that will make it a choice you have to make over the likes of the brands that we already love in the US.
Another factor that might dissuade this brand from making a run at North America is the brand loyalty that so many truck owners have in the US. If you love a Chevrolet Silverado growing up in the US its likely this will be the brand of truck you choose more often as an adult as well. The market is also flooded with midsized pickups from GM, Toyota, Nissan and now Honda to make it a class that will be difficult to break into, especially for a truck model that’s going to come at a much higher price than the rest.
If the value is present in the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, we’ll certainly buy it in the US, but maybe this brand knows the truck they’ve built won’t stack up right away. It’s better to enter with a vehicle that can be an instant success than to bring something to market that’s subpar and has to be redone a few years later. Right now the report is we might see the X-Class during its second iteration but this first version will see many other truck markets of the world gain the benefit of the X-Class, but the North American market has this truck and this brand scared to see how it would perform.