Mercedes still sounds lukewarm at best about the prospect of launching its new X-class midsize pickup in the U.S. market — while not ruling it out entirely.
At the vehicle's launch in Chile last week, Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said he believed U.S. truck buyers wouldn't view something as small as the X class as true luxury. (It's 210 inches long, 75.6 inches wide and 71.6 inches high.)
"The U.S. is a pickup country, there's no doubt about it, but there's a very strong focus on the full-size pickups — the huge ones," said Mornhinweg. "And when it comes to a premium kind of pickup, it looks like the first move … will be full size."
However, he said there was no impetus to develop such a vehicle, partly because of the challenging market. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler dominate with a combined share of more than 90 percent.
What's more, he said full-size pickups are barely in demand outside of the U.S. and Canada.
The X class is "a global product, and that's important to us — that we have global opportunities," he said.
Still, Mornhinweg said he will carefully observe U.S. demand for the midsize trucks and didn't rule out an X-class launch at a later date, adding: "We are not in a hurry."