A new report out of Germany suggests Daimler’s new CEO has no plans to renew the German firm’s partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which means the next-generation Mercedes-Benz X-Class (assuming there is one) won’t likely be based on the Nissan Navara.
According to Manager Magazin, with Ola Källenius set to take over the German group in late May 2019, the partnership originally built between outgoing Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche and former Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn (as long ago as 2009) could lapse at the end of the current contract.
The deal currently includes the sharing of parts between the Navara and X-Class (plus the Renault Alaskan); the Renault Twingo and Smart ForFour; the Mercedes-Benz Citan and Renault Kangoo; and even some Mercedes and Infiniti products. Various engines (including the petrol engine in the base A-Class) have also been jointly developed.
The report in Manager Magazin suggested Mercedes-Benz’s supervisory board had expressed its “displeasure” with the partnership, adding “almost all common businesses are in the red”.
While that suggests the end of the road for the Navara-based X-Class, expect it to keep rolling off the production line for some time still, with CarAdvice reporting the Stuttgart-based firm’s bakkie will stick around for at least another four years.
At that point, the next-generation Navara is set to hit the scene, sharing its platform with the next version of the Mitsubishi Triton. Volkswagen’s Amarok replacement, meanwhile, will be based on the Ford Ranger, while the next-generation Mazda BT-50 will share its underpinnings with the new Isuzu D-Max.
Where that leaves the X-Class nameplate remains to be seen...
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.