Daimler considers taking axe to Denza sub-brand
German Daimler AG and Chinese automaker BYD founded the Denza marque nine years ago, but with the X SUV being its only surviving representative now, perhaps time has come to wave it goodbye.
According to Daimler CEO Ola Källenius, all the investment made is “in the past now”. The company will now monitor the financial performance of the X and make a final decision. Denza had never been popular among buyers, and the recent cost-cutting measures suggest it may be among the first to go. Furthermore, the corporation is in the process of rebranding itself as simply “Mercedes-Benz”, and having deadweight brands in its portfolio would not go in line with the claimed drive for innovation.
The sub-brand’s lineup used to include a sedan model named the 500, but the X seven-seater SUV is the only Denza car still available through dealerships. It comes in a hybrid version rated at 586 PS (578 hp / 431 kW) and 950 Nm (701 lb-ft) of torque, and two electric ones. Power in the latter subcategory ranges from 245 to 490 PS (242 – 484 hp; 180 – 360 kW), the torque from 330 to 660 Nm (243 – 486 lb-ft), and the NEDC-rated driving range from 500 to 520 kilometers (310 – 323 miles). The lower spec is FWD and the higher dual-motor AWD.
The interior of the SUV sports a dual-tone trim, a 12.3-inch digital dashboard, ambient lighting with seven selectable colors, and a 15.6-inch touchscreen display that you can rotate up to 90 degrees.
The model is only present on its domestic market of China, where the hybrid version costs between 289,800 and 319,800 Yuan and the EV between 319,800 and 357,800. The total sales amounted to a meager 4,175 units last year, while the BYD Tang – the gas-powered crossover SUV that the Denza X was originally based upon – sold 36,753 units.
Editor Andrew Raspopov