Mercedes is reportedly planning to cut back the dimensions of its product portfolio within the US in a bid to take a number of the complexity out of it, axing sure mannequin variants, trim ranges and engine choices.
The German automotive maker has knowledgeable its U.S. sellers about its lowered portfolio plan throughout a nationwide assembly in Las Vegas on Could eight, AutoNews studies.
“We’re going to see fashions go away inside the subsequent 12 months,” stated one seller who attended the closed-door assembly. “Inside the subsequent 90 days, we’d see a few of these bulletins.”
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In keeping with individuals current on the assembly, Mercedes will remove poor-selling choices and gear packages whereas providing the most well-liked ones as normal gear on sure fashions or including them into current packages.
Mercedes’ nameplates have almost doubled within the US market since 2000, to 15 fashions. When you rely in engine variants and physique kinds, the German automotive maker is at the moment promoting almost 90 fashions stateside.
However the inflated product portfolio isn’t an issue unique to Mercedes. BMW has additionally almost doubled its US choices to 17 nameplates over the identical interval, whereas Audi almost tripled theirs to 14.
Premium German automotive makers have been in a “fragmentation arms race” over the past a number of years, which in response to LMC Automotive’s president of world forecasting Jeff Schuster has begun complicated prospects – to not point out the stress it places on corporations themselves.
“It has gotten to the purpose of being simply an excessive amount of to handle buyer mannequin confusion, automobile logistics and manufacturing,” Schuster stated. “Every of those fashions require advertising and marketing assist, schooling on the seller stage, even service and elements stock.”
Mercedes hasn’t instructed sellers but which fashions are thought-about for the chopping block. We already know that the SLC roadster goes to be discontinued, however low-volume fashions just like the S-Class Coupe and Convertible may additionally face the axe.
It’s the same story for the C-Class Coupe and Convertible, which noticed their gross sales tumble by 25 and 31 % respectively in 2018, in response to LMC. “Coupes and convertibles within the sedan phase are niches of niches,” stated Sam Fiorani, vp with AutoForecast Options. “Further variations of passenger automotive fashions such because the S-class coupe are much less seemingly to get replaced after the present era ends.”