Mercedes kills its status symbols

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Illustration of the article titled Mercedes Kills Its Status Symbols

Illustration: Mercedes-Benz / Jalopnik

Mercedes Benz Previously, the German automaker had been known for a century for making luxury coupes, convertibles and limousines, building some of the most collectible, prized and personalized cars in the world. Today it’s known for its big square crossovers, and it looks like the old Mercedes is about to be killed.

Mercedes has expanded its huge catalog of cars over the years to include crossovers and SUVs alongside its more private and luxurious options, like E-Class and S-Class coupes. This has never been a problem, because yesterday’s coupe buyers would never be happy with a giant crossover. But tomorrow those vanities will probably all be gone as seven current Mercedes-Benz models are now on the chopping block.

People are just more convenient with their money these days, and tastes have changed. This makes Mercedes wonder why, exactly, it makes so many different cars with similar specs, and the U.S. market is ripe for the coupe, according to this report. Automotive News:

The luxury automaker plans to drop seven car models from the U.S. market, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Nicholas Speeks told dealers in a webinar in late June. Speeks did not identify the models or offer a timeline, according to retailers who heard the presentation.

But according to a source familiar with the plans, there could be more than seven models. Those under consideration are the coupe and convertible versions of the S, C and E class nameplates, as well as the CLS Coupe and one of the brand’s GT models, according to the source.

A Mercedes spokesperson declined to comment on the brand’s U.S. product plans.

Considering the engine and transmission options, Auto News reports that Mercedes-Benz currently offers more than 100 different vehicle variants in the US market. It’s not just a production puzzle. This means that the entire Mercedes dealer network must be trained and educated on over 100 different cars and must be able to guide consumers through a very complicated and potentially confusing range of vehicles.

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Either way, simplifying the lineup, even consolidating the powertrains, could potentially save millions of dollars and even lead to more car sales if your product suddenly has a stronger identity in the lineup.

Mercedes would therefore seek to significantly reduce its coupe and convertible models. This makes the most sense because no other auto company feels the need to offer a coupe and convertible compact, mid- and full-size variant, with other specialty convertibles and coupe sports cars stacked on top of them. Frankly, this has been a mess for some time.

I would really fight to save the E-Class coupe – it seems like the best compromise of anything Mercedes is potentially looking to cut. Both accessible and ambitious. I would get rid of the CLA as well, mainly because I like the A-Class better, but definitely have to go.

It is evident that sales of luxury coupes and convertibles have trended downward in recent years, as the premium segment increasingly focuses on crossovers, SUVs and even pickup trucks. Mercedes just follows the money. He really should have seen this happen before he gave the green light to more two-door models than Mazda has cars in its full lineup.

I can’t help but think that this is going to kill the core identity of what Mercedes-Benz is, which are leather-padded tanks with paint jobs that look like they need a mortgage, along with the luxury of having only two usable seats screwed together to go 150mph until the end of time.

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