If Automotive News’ [sub] dealer sources have heard right, then Daimler might sacrifice their S-Class on the altar of the almighty EPA and its newly announced CAFE standards.
According to dealers who have been briefed on the plans, all future S-class models — including high-performance AMG models — will come only hybridized. The S-class propelled by ICU only will be history. According to the Geheimplan, the switch would be made globally with the next-generation S class, due in Europe in 2013 and in North America a year later. Mercedes dealers shudder at the thought.
Says AN: “The idea is drawing fire from some U.S. dealers, who worry that hybrids are not perceived as true performers in the market.” The average S-Class customer is not all too concerned about gas mileage. The concern is at Daimler.
Two company sources told AN that the Board of Directors at Daimler likes the idea because it could help Mercedes-Benz reach strict European CO2 emissions standards and meet tougher corporate average fuel economy standards in the United States by mid-decade.