Earlier in 2019, Mercedes-Benz released its annual financial report. Most telling was sales data relating to its X-Class bakkie - more than "14 000" units sold in 2018, which compared to rivals is staggeringly low, reports Mercedes-Benz.
Given its pricing, from R642 000 in SA, the X-Class was never going to be a volume-seller.
In July, Automotive News Europe reports that the X-Class, a joint venture with the Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan, "could face the axe due to poor sales".
Marketed as the world’s first premium bakkie, the X-Class sold 16 700 globally in 2018 - its first official year of being on sale, reports DriveTribe.
Locally, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) does not release individual sales figures to Naamsa, only a collective figure for all its vehicles. MBSA has declined to comment on speculation that it would end production of its X-Class.
The X-Class was launched in SA early 2018, in X220d and X250d guise, with current pricing starting from R642 103. The V6 offering (the X350d Power) followed a few months later and currently retails for R973 188.
Image: Warren Wilson
Its pricing has made it a tough sell in SA where the staple of Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger continue to top the sales charts in a very competitive market.
X-Class vs the rest
Here' s how it fared against rivals in terms of sales; both locally and internationally:
In 2018, the Toyota Hilux was not just the best-selling vehicle locally with 40 018 units sold, but it was also the top-selling bakkie globally on 548 313 sales.
The Isuzu D-Max may play second fiddle to the Hilux and Ford Ranger in South Africa, but over the course of 2018 it amassed a global sales figure of 301 629 units. Locally, it managed a sales figure of 15 520 units.
The Ranger sold 30 141 units in South Africa last year, compared to a global figure of 267 153 units.
The Nissan Navara, the bakkie on which the X-Class is based, sold 231 435 units globally and 2090 units locally. Volkswagen's Amarok did well in SA in 2018; selling 2 979 units. Globally, it sold more than 74 400 units.