Fewer lease specials, more Maybach models.
Mercedes-Benz has some big reveals coming up. In the next few weeks alone, the German automaker will reveal a new GLC-Class, an AMG-Vision electric sports car, and a new special edition Maybach model. With so many new products (especially electrified ones) on the horizon, Mercedes thought it was a good time to publish some of its long-term goals as the world's most valuable car company.
The company's plan involves dividing the lineup into three categories: Entry Luxury, Core Luxury, and Top-End Luxury.
With top-end vehicle sales set to rise by around 60% through 2026, Mercedes plans to meet demand with a slew of new AMG, Maybach, and G-Class variants, including the first-ever electric EQG. Top-end vehicles will encompass all AMG and Maybach models, the EQS and EQS SUV, S-Class, G-Class, and GLS, plus any limited edition models and exclusive collaboration vehicles. Mercedes also confirmed it will offer a Mercedes-Maybach SL in addition to the existing Mercedes-AMG SL63, and a new Maybach Coupe.
Mercedes even plans to introduce new Mythos models that will be even more exclusive than Maybach, starting with an SL-based roadster. While the top-end luxury market will undoubtedly grow, Mercedes knows it must also cater to the middle of the market with its Core Luxury models. The company just launched a new C-Class and the next-generation E-Class will arrive next year. This Core Luxury class will also include electrified EVA2 platform cars like the EQE and EQE SUV. Another EV will join these two models specifically for the Chinese market.
As for the Entry Luxury segment, Mercedes will slowly pivot away from this market as it focuses on more profitable vehicles. The company currently sells seven entry-level products (the A-Class hatchback, A-Class sedan, B-Class, CLA-Class, CLA Shooting Brake wagon, GLA, and GLB), but plans to cut those offerings down to just four. We imagine the GLA and GLB will be safe, along with the CLA and possibly the B-Class. Mercedes already trimmed the fat on its entry lineup in the US, discontinuing the base A-Class and sporty AMG A35.
Along with the lineup changes, Mercedes plans a major overhaul to its trim structure. This involves bundling equipment into option packages (similar to Lexus) rather than offering everything a la carte. Mercedes says the move will simplify and speed up the online configuration process and lead to faster availability. Grouping options together should also improve residual values. As a bonus to customers, the move means base variants will include more standard features than before.
Our take: These moves will help Mercedes focus on its most profitable models. Unfortunately, this signals a shift away from affordability, benefiting the upper echelon of the car-buying public. These corporate changes will move Mercedes further up the ladder as an aspiration brand, leaving entry-level buyers behind as a trade-off.