Mercedes-Benz was the first premium manufacturer to launch a sport utility vehicle (SUV), the M-Class, and completely redefined the off-road segment – with lasting success. Now the premium brand has taken another major step by pioneering the first premium pickup trucks which will be launched in late 2017 under the name Mercedes-Benz X-Class. Mercedes-Benz has identified five customer groups for the X-Class, which are of different relevance in the individual countries. The key markets include Argentina, Brazil, Africa, Australia with New Zealand, and Europe.
These target groups include families, business owners, land owners, travelers/adventurers and trend conscious individualists.
“We will open up and change the segment of mid-size pickups – with the world’s first true premium pickup for the modern urban lifestyle”, says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us. As an added value, we bring safety, comfort, agility, and expressive design – in other words, everything that distinguishes vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. We will thus appeal to new customers who have not considered owning a pickup before.”
The top-of-the-line model will come with a V6 diesel engine, 4MATIC all-wheel drive, 22-inch alloy wheels ready to tow up to 3.5 tons. The premium truck will also be equipped with exemplary assistance systems including camera, radar and ultrasound sensors. Customers will be able to choose from a variety of equipment scopes for the exterior and interior. High quality materials and infotainment features similar to the C-class and V-class will be readily available to create an elegant ambience inside and out.
“The Concept X-CLASS design variants interpret the hallmark brand design idiom of our SUVs in a most expressive form, and embody the dichotomy of our design philosophy: they are hot and cool”, says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “With its progressive design the powerful adventurer expresses cool modernity and thirst for adventure, while the stylish explorer on the other hand uses pure emotion to provide a tangible experience of modern beauty.”
The market launch of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class in Europe will begin in late 2017. The pickup will be manufactured in a production cooperation with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Production for the European, Australian and South African markets will start at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. The X-Class for the Latin American market will roll off the assembly lines at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, starting in 2018.
“We are extremely pleased with the final unveiling of the concept trucks. The X-Class pickup trucks will be a formidable addition to our fleet. I believe they are perfect for the Nigerian market due to the broad range of needs to be met for different customers. Thus, we look forward to their arrival in 2017” says Mirko Plath, MD/CEO of Weststar Associates, Sole General Distributors of Mercedes-Benz Vehicles in Nigeria.
With the X-Class, Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have expanded their strategic cooperation which began six years ago. This affords Mercedes-Benz fast and cost-efficient entrance to the fast-growing segment of mid-size pickups. In addition, both companies benefit from optimal utilization of the production capacity. Nissan is the second-largest manufacturer of mid-size pickups with a payload of one ton in the world, and can look back on more than 80 years of experience in producing and marketing these types of vehicles.