Stuttgart - Mercedes-Benz is planning to discontinue the X-Class bakkie, Automotive News Europe reports, citing unnamed sources within the German company.

This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, given earlier reports that Mercedes-Benz is likely to cut its ties with the Renault-Nissan alliance - which would take the Navara donor vehicle out of the equation.

Yet the latest report also cites poor sales as a key reason for abandoning the premium one-tonne market that the German carmaker, to an extent, actually created.

According to Automotive News Europe, just 16 700 X-Class bakkies were sold in its key markets - Europe, South Africa and Australia - in 2018, which falls well below targets. 

Mercedes is under pressure to improve its financial fortunes - the carmaker cut its profit forecast for the fourth time in 13 months last Friday, as it set aside more money to cover costs related to the so-called ‘dieselgate’ scandal and cover Takata-related vehicle recalls, Reuters recently reported.

The Mercedes X-Class is sold only in double cab guise. Launched in South Africa in May 2018, it is the country’s most expensive double cab bakkie, with prices ranging from R642 103 to R973 188. 

The X-Class is offered with a choice between Nissan-sourced 2.3-litre diesel engines and Merc’s own V6 diesel unit. It has received mixed reviews, with many feeling that its interior quality, while impressive in places, doesn’t justify the price premium.

But no need to hurry to your nearest dealer if you still want one - the above-mentioned sources did not give a timeline for the vehicle’s discontinuation.

IOL Motoring