Mercedes-Benz is a German automaker known for creating some of the most collectible/personalized cars, convertibles, limousines in the world. Within the past decade, however, car experts have noticed a shift in the type of vehicles Mercedes releases, as it seems they’re focusing more on crossover vehicles, SUVs, and other more standardized options.
The subtle “rebranding” of vehicles and advertising that’s come from Mercedes has many in the industry thinking they’re switching gears in terms of the brand to advertise to a more accessible audience. Cars that are seen as “luxurious” or are purchased out of vanity have become a lot less popular within the past few years, especially luxury cars that are large and emulate more of a SUV aesthetic; something Mercedes is known for.
Besides the fact that we’re currently enduring one of the worst financial/economic crises in US history, many individuals are stepping away from spending their money on luxury vehicles and instead saving it for something more practical. When it comes to cars, many look for safety features more than anything else, so Mercedes has had to do some serious reworking.
One of the biggest criticisms that the brand has received since the dawn of its creation is that all of its vehicles essentially have the same interior design/technological features, and the only major difference is the size and shape of the cars.
According to reports from Automotive News, Mercedes is planning on dropping seven or more cars from the US Market. The reports come after Mercedes-Benz US CEO Nicholas Speeks told dealers during a June webinar that they would no longer be selling the models, but has yet to identify which ones would no longer be available.
This decision isn’t only so Mercedes can make room for more family-friendly and accessible vehicles, but also to make production of vehicles a lot easier. Currently, Mercedes offers over 100 different kinds of vehicle variants in terms of engine and transmission options; many car experts like to customize these features within their vehicles. However, the multitude of options delays production often and can slow down the rate at which they’re able to customize vehicles.
Additionally, all Mercedes car dealers need to be completely trained in learning about over 100 different car types and their specific internal features that can be customized. This is not only overwhelming for the dealers, but the customers as well! Research has shown that having so many options laid out in front of a customer can become overwhelming for them, and can actually turn them off the idea of buying.
The reports also suggest that Mercedes could save millions of dollars by simplifying their line up, and even increase sales of whatever vehicles are left. The initial rumors suggest that the company will likely pull some of their less-popular convertible and coupe models. This rumor is the most likely to actually be true, as Mercedes is currently the only car company to offer coupe and convertible cars in compact, mid, and full-size, and that doesn’t include the sports vehicles.
Overall, coupe and convertible sales for any brand of car has seen a dramatic decrease in the US within the past few years. Instead, people are putting safety first and going for SUVs or crossover vehicles. Mercedes should announce their new reduced line up within the coming months as the Covid-19 pandemic begins to slow down, so for now, only time will tell which vehicles will get the chop or not.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.