By on February 13, 2011

Ever since Mercedes released its CLK back in 1996, Mercedes has offered one premium coupe slotted between its E and C-Class sedans. Sure, it offered the unloved C-Class Sportcoupe (aka CLC) for a few years in the US as an attempt at an entry-level Mercedes, but nobody really seemed to notice. Otherwise, between there and the none-too-cheap CL, Mercedes offered one coupe, known as the CLK (not counting the CLS “four door coupe”). Now, however, Mercedes has moved in a new direction, offering an “E-Class Coupe” and a “C-Class Coupe,” the latter of which will debut shortly at the Geneva Auto Show. The strange part: they’re both built on the C-Class platform. Mercedes, it seems, has learned an important lesson: when it comes to selling cars, it’s what’s on the outside that counts.

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16 Comments on “Why Build One Coupe When You Can Build Two?...”

  • avatar

    Mercedes Benz has become their own competition.

  • avatar

    Not at all. They are priced differently.
    Also Mercedes is competing with BMW in the near luxury category: 3 series coupe -> C-class coupe.
    Perhaps their strategy is make there cars recognizable as part of a series: C-class variants, E-class variants, just as BMW does. All these letters are just confusing.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree; Mercedes-Benz has let its model nomenclature get out of hand, to the point where it’s almost as bad as Lincoln’s. Bring back the easily understood A/B/C/E/S-class designations!

  • avatar

    The C-Class sedan platform, (204) and E-Class sedan platform (212) are very similar as it is. Many mechanical parts are the same, and the 212 is more of  stretched 204 than a different platform. The E-Class coupe, (207) is a bit larger than the 204 based cars, and has a 212 interior. I’m sure the new coupe will be very 204 on the inside, and it won’t really cannibalize 207 sales.

    • 0 avatar

      On top of that the C Class coupe will come with the turbo 4 whereas the E Class coupe will not. The C Class coupe will also have pretty much the same interior as the 204 (outside of seat design).
      Bottom line…..looking at these vehicles side-by-side in a MBZ showroom, most consumers won’t blink an eye nor care that the C/E Class coupes ride on the same platform. Especially if they are looking at window stickers.

  • avatar

    Is the letter ‘D’ verboten to Mercedes-Benz marketers? Why put so much burden on the poor letter ‘C’?

    • 0 avatar

      Might be because “D” connotes Diesel for many European manufacturers and customers. Even though there, too, we’ve seen more than enough additional letter growth (CDI, TDI, etc.).

  • avatar

    I really don’t see the point for two reasons:
    1. A nicely configured E350 coupe is about $50K which won’t leave much of a gap between it and the C350 coupe.
    2. The C coupe is a very conservative design and has more than a passing resemblance to the Accord Coupe. Next to the BMW 328 coupe and A5, is looks very homely. A problem the E coupe doesn’t have.

    • 0 avatar

      An E350 coupe starts at $48,850; add metallic paint and destination and you’re already over $50k. Considering the fact that most C-class coupes will probably be sold for under $40k, there’s a definite price gap, especially when it comes to lease payments, the bread and butter of entry-level luxury cars.

    • 0 avatar

      Whiie I will agree that the C could be a bit more exciting (they should steal some of the look of the upcoming SLK), the 3 series is not a terribly interesting looking car either.

  • avatar

    Far for me to challenge people who actually know a thing or two about Mercs, but a friend of mine had a little Benz coupe some time in 2001 or so that was called “SLK”. It was like a Miata or S2000 basically. They later replaced it with a bloated version, kinda like BMW did with Z3 -> Z4.

  • avatar

    Not as pug ugly as the IS350C, but the 3 series coupe and the A5 are the best looking cars BMW and Audi make. This is just bland, and I agree largely looks like an Accord. I always get the feeling that Mercedes only builds the C-class because they have to, not because they actually have any interest in small sport sedans.

    • 0 avatar

      This is definitely true. Mercedes is the only Luxury brand where the mid-size car out sells the compact by large numbers. This segment is everybody else’s bread and butter.

    • 0 avatar

      You’d think someone would really step up to knock the 3 off the pedestal.  Audi takes good shots, the Acura TL SH AWD hits the numbers but not the “feel”, and the Infiniti/Lexus go luxury but pay lip service.
      The C class…..not mentioned.  Almost ever.
      I really wanted Porsche to build a 3 beater, with practical four doors. They built a four door 6 series instead.

      Imagine…a Porsche, 50k, beating the 3 series at its’ own game.

  • avatar

    My question is whether or not AMG would consider it worth their while to delve into this one. A bit anxious to see a small MB coupe equivalent of an M3.

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