Mercedes X-Class and Nissan Navara to divorce?
After a single generation of X-Class, Mercedes could be about to end its collaboration with Nissan-Renault.
A report citing sources close to the matter has emerged, saying that the X-Class has failed to fire after high expectations and is losing the company money.
The agreement between Mercedes and Nissan-Renault was drawn up under former Merc’ boss Dieter Zetsche and Ghosn back in 2009, ten years before the latter was arrested and jailed for alleged financial misconduct.
If the partnership is dissolved, other shared models will also be affected, including the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Infiniti QX30 hatchbacks, and the Mercedes-Benz Citan and Renault Kangoo vans.
According to the report, the new boss of Mercedes-Benz, Ola Källenius, said that the cooperation will end because “almost all common businesses are in the red.”
Nissan will build the X-Class until the end of this generation Navara’s model cycle at least, or about four years from now.
Then, the new Navara will begin production. It will twin with Mitsubishi’s next-gen Triton, sharing the same frame and technology but differing in body and interior styling.
What this means for the X-Class is unclear. Mercedes could go it alone or partner with one of the remaining solo artists in the ute sector - Holden/GM or Toyota spring to mind.
Ford and VW have already joined forces on the upcoming Ranger and Amarok, due in 2021-2022. Izusu and Mazda are hard at work on their shared utes, which should arrive in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
However, the same report claims Mercedes wants to save 6 billion euros by 2021. Given the X-Class isn’t selling as well as the company’s bigwigs would like, the three-pointed star could quietly exit the market to focus more on electric and autonomous vehicles.