Once again, SUVs are to blame.
In the United States, Mercedes-Benz offers its customers the choice of just two wagons. These are the E450 4Matic All-Terrain, which competes with the Audi A6 allroad, and the AMG E63 wagon. The limited selection is no surprise since wagons have fallen out of favor in recent years. Even Volvo, which has built some of the best wagons around, recently chose to discontinue its V60 and V90 wagons for the 2022 model year.
According to Autocar, Markus Schafer, Mercedes-Benz's chief operating officer, recently admitted that the future of the wagon is uncertain, especially outside of the UK and Europe where wagons remain quite popular.
"Estate cars, we have to see," said Schafer in an interview at the Munich auto show. "This market is under pressure as more and more customers move to SUVs, and there are just a few markets left for estates and station wagons. So we have to see how the volumes are developing."
We know that crossovers and SUVs are wildly popular in the US, and sources at Mercedes have suggested that this won't change with electrification. Lower-riding, more aerodynamic SUVs with electric powertrains are carving away at the few advantages the wagon body style still had to its credit.
For those of us less interested in practical motoring, there was more bad news from Schafer. "We have to recognize that the demand for cabriolets is dropping around the world. We will have to think about the coupe as well."
Electrification and drop-tops are not quite a match made in heaven, as Schafer says it's challenging to design an attractive convertible with a large battery pack at the bottom. "It's quite a job and a task to keep [its] nice proportions and not to lift it too high," he said.
Already, the beautiful Mercedes S-Class coupe and convertible - based on the previous S-Class sedan - won't be receiving successors. Hopefully, the E-Class wagon isn't headed down the same path.