Mercedes-Benz, Only With Less Fun

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
mercedes benz only with less fun

There’s a plan afoot to more carefully align Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. product offerings with consumer demand, all the while saving the automaker money. The result, Automotive News reports, will be a lineup lacking the flair and whimsy the brand once enjoyed.

Fans of two-door variants, especially, stand to lose out under this new strategy.

According to a late-June dealer webinar and sources close to the company, M-B plans to axe most coupe and convertible models in the U.S. market.

While retailers said Mercedes-Benz CEO Nicholas Speeks told them that seven models rest on the automaker’s chopping block, another source claims that number could be higher. Specifically, M-B is reportedly planning to cut the convertible and coupe versions of the C-, E-, and S-Class models, leaving only sedans and crossovers behind. Also destined for death is the niche CLS four-door coupe (a model that’s recently come into its own, though perhaps too anonymously), and one of the GT models.

Talk of a model cull is nothing new; even before the pandemic reached these shores, it was known that M-B wished to pare down its offerings in the face of growing financial pressures. Passengers cars aren’t the draw they used to be, and electric vehicle development has a way of shrinking a company’s billfold. Parent Daimler recently suggested that very high-end vehicles and EVs will be its core brand’s savior in the near term.

Meanwhile, AMG-ified crossovers and “crossover coupes” proliferate throughout the lineup, boosting margins and revenue, while new additions like the small but roomy GLB stand to gain Benz new buyers in the low-priced range. None of these products are as sexy as a pillarless coupe or carefree cabriolet, of course.

Yet the drive to reduce complexity continues.

Speaking to AN, Jeff Aiosa, owner of Mercedes-Benz of New London in Connecticut, said, “Reducing model proliferation is good. We’ve been asking for that,” adding, “Whether or not seven models is enough, time will tell.”

Officially, the supposedly looming discontinuations remain unconfirmed.

[Images: Daimler AG]

Join the conversation
2 of 26 comments
  • Manic Manic on Jul 27, 2020

    There's still hardtop roadsters SL and SLC available to convertibe crowd.

  • D27XHy5HG D27XHy5HG on Jul 27, 2020

    How does MB nickel and diming you on options and with ridiculous mark ups lose money? Last time they tried cutting costs, MBs lost their reputation for solid reliability.

  • Wjtinfwb How does the ICE mid-engine C8 platform work for... anything else? A sedan? SUV? With a mid engine configuration? A mid-engine SUV will have to be Suburban sized to offer the utility of a CRV. GM should dust off the Omega platform designed for the Cadillac CT6 for an SUV/Sedan offering with exceptional handling, Rear or AWD capability and acceptable space utilization. They also need to focus on interior fit & finish, trim choices and high quality final engineering and assembly. What GM doesn't need is another half-baked product with a storied and prestigious badge on the decklid and a premium price on the Monroney. No more Cimarron's, Allante's or X-cars needed to tarnish the reputation of Corvette.
  • InCogKneeToe BUILD It and they will come.By Build It, I mean a Vehicle that the Customer Wants and it works for them. It could be called Chevette for all that that matters. The Mach E's success isn't because it totes the Mustang on it.Just build what people want, the next Caravan/Taurus/Beetle/Maverick (truck).
  • YellowDuck do you make a mid-engine crossover? Or even a 4-door coupe? Me not get.
  • 28-Cars-Later Thanks Corey. The head stud job on NOrthSTAR-T was $3K *years ago* as it involves an engine pull so rear wheel arch rust in and of itself isn't a show stopper. I'll be sure to check out the trunk as it may start to add up on deferred maintenance. Supposedly this was garaged so the underneath the rockers etc. should be decent but if those are shot its not gonna work.
  • Mark 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, G4NG engine with connecting rod bearing issues. Engine needs to be replaced, but Hyundai is denying warranty claim. I have all maintenance records from mile zero. It has been in Hyundai Service department 5 time in 4 months. They added the knock sensor and software update to let you know the engine is about to blow up. They kicked the can down the road doing patch work until the car was past the 120k extended extended warranty. I have that documentation too. So how can I join the class action law suit or find a Lawyer that handles these types of issues?