Mercedes to simplify model line-up in a bid to cut cost
Mercedes-Benz’s rampant model introduction over the past few years has seen its portfolio ballooned to 45 models currently, and according to an Autocar report, the automaker is planning to ‘drastically’ trim down the line-up to reduce complexity and optimise profit.
Apparently, the culling is part of a streamlining process, one which will see some of its platforms and powertrain options be axed as well. Company R&D boss Markus Schafer told the publication that the move came as a result of its focus on electric vehicles. In fact, the number of production lines may also reduce, with emphasis on commonalising parts.
“We are reviewing our product portfolio, especially as we announced so many pure EVs. Knowing the complexity after the growth in the last couple of years means we are definitely reviewing our current lie-up. The idea is to streamline – taking car variants out, but also platforms, powertrains and components,” Schafer said. However, it’s unclear how many cars would be sent to the chopping block.
So far, Schafer named the G-Class, SL, AMG GT, S-Class, and a few others as having their own platform currently. “There are many single platforms right now and the idea is to reduce this. In the future, we will have the same underpinnings with various cars and you will see the results pretty soon,” he noted.
Meanwhile, for engines, Schafer said there’s no immediate plan to discontinue the serving duties of its V8 and V12 engines, “so long as there is customer demand.” However, the incoming Euro7 legislation may force the automaker to rethink its powertrain offerings, and the possibility of reducing the engine line-up is real.
“Probably, yes, [powertrain] variants will reduce. Of course, four-cylinder engines will make more sense than a V12. Let’s see what Euro7 requirements are and go from there,” Schafer said.
But Mercedes-Benz’s family of four petrol and diesel engines from its four- and six-cylinder range can be scaled to respond to any market changes immediately. They are built on the same line, and Schafer said “we planned this protection a couple of years ago in order to protect us in terms of different demands and regulations.” What do you guys think?
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