Several Mercedes models are facing the ax.
For the first time since 2015, Mercedes-Benz was dethroned by BMW as the luxury sales king in the United States. Despite this, the brand remained the largest luxury automaker globally with its impressive lineup that is still growing. In fact, Mercedes plans to reveal two more important models in 2020 including a new S-Class followed by an electrified model.
But even though the company has seen success over the past several years, Daimler boss Ola Kallenius needs to consider how electrification and self-driving development costs will affect profits. Speaking with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Kallenius hinted that Mercedes could cut 15,000 employees through severance payments, early retirement, and partial retirement while thinning out its vast model lineup.
Two of the models Kallenius quickly pointed out to be on the chopping block are the S-Class Coupe and Convertible, both of which will not receive successors. Instead, Mercedes will release an all-new SL, which should fill the gap left by the two-doors S-Class variants. The Mercedes X-Class, the Nissan-based pickup truck that isn't offered in the US, has also been discontinued.
But the most surprising models Kallenius mentioned were the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door, both of which are relatively new entrants to the lineup. The CLS has been around since 2004 but just entered its third generation back in 2018. The GT 4-Door was also introduced in 2018 as an all-new model, but we can see why having both it and the CLS might not be necessary.
Both the CLS and GT 4-Door are available in AMG 53 guise, featuring the same 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with a mild-hybrid assist, producing an identical 429 horsepower. But whereas the CLS 53 starts at just $81,200, the GT 53 is a heftier $99,950. Kallenius hinted that the CLS and GT 4-Door could be replaced by a single, all-electric model.