Say goodbye to desirable wagons, coupes, and convertibles adorned with the Three-pointed star.
Mercedes-Benz is preparing to kill off more than half its lineup in the coming years as it aims to maximize profits and claim a larger slice of market share.
The German automaker revealed plans for a new business strategy last year. Products will be split between three categories - Entry Luxury, Core Luxury, and Top-End Luxury - with a keen focus on building more high-end vehicles with greater profit margins.
The lower rung of the ladder, occupied by models like the CLA and GLA-Class, will be trimmed in the near future. The A-Class and the B-Class MPV don't have long to live and will soon be axed to streamline the range. But according to Car and Driver (C&D), the luxury marque is going much further than that and plans to remove even some of the most desirable models from its range.
The elegant CLS-Class will be removed in 2024 with the brutish AMG GT 4-Door to suffer the same fate in 2024 or 2025. We already know the C-Class and E-Class coupes and convertibles will die with their respective generations and will be replaced with one model known as the CLE-Class. Spy shots preview a handsome vehicle that will fill dual roles and cater to both markets.
Interestingly, it seems Mercedes will also do away with coupe-style SUVs. While the new GLE and GLC models will gain coupe body styles, they'll be the last of their kind. Worst of all, an iconic Mercedes-Benz body style will also be shuffled off its mortal coil. By 2028, the C-Class wagon will be canceled. A crumb of comfort comes in the form of the next-generation E-Class longroof which, sadly, will be the automaker's last wagon. It will live until 2030.
All in all, only 14 models are expected to survive the automaker's range reduction strategy. "At the end of the day, we simply don't need [wagons] or underperforming two-door offerings to boost volumes," said a Mercedes-Benz strategist.
"The most essential elements of sustainable contemporary luxury cars are space and time ... That's our number one priority-not another fancy body style, a model that only works in Europe, or one last stab at a dying segment." So what's behind this decision? As mentioned, the new business strategy will see a greater focus on high-end luxury products.
Comfort will become an even more critical part of the Mercedes-Benz ethos, and the company aims to channel this through new mobility services and by reducing the pressure on the driver, says C&D.
It sounds like Mercedes-Benz is returning to the less complicated product lineup of the '80s and early '90s, but that's not the case.
This year, Mercedes-AMG will introduce an all-new GT sports car sharing underpinnings with the new SL-Class. The SL lineup will also grow to accommodate a new Maybach offering, teased last year in May. The death of the CLS-Class and AMG GT 4-Door gives the impression that Benz is done with four-door coupes, but an entirely new version will arrive in 2026 as an electric vehicle.
Interestingly, that's the same time a new SL, said to have more room for passengers and cargo, will arrive. It will debut alongside a brand-new AMG GT - both will be battery-powered. Let's not forget that the recently revised CLA-Class will also make way for an electric replacement in 2025. This and a new off-roader called the GLG-Class will be underpinned by the MMA platform.
It's clear the Stuttgart-based brand is going through a revival, but we can't help but wonder if killing desirable models - wagons and coupes - is a good idea. We'll see in the coming years.
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