Ola Källenius, head of Mercedes-Benz, has hinted the Stuttgart-based firm could be gearing up to trim its crowded model range.
Speaking to CarsGuide.com.au after the reveal of the new S-Class, the 51-year-old said the company had “started to look” at refining the brand’s unique selling point.
“Where do we really differentiate? What are the cars that our clientele is looking for? Get rid of the periphery and focus on the core,” Källenius said.
“We have also made decisions where we say, ‘here are areas where we don’t need to spend money because it doesn’t pay into our future profitability in the same way as the more core activities’,” he added.
While the automaker has confirmed it won’t be producing coupé and cabriolet versions of the new S-Class (and has already killed off the X-Class), Källenius wouldn’t be drawn on which other models are potentially facing the axe.
“I think in a beautiful garden, you always look at the flowers and decide what looks the most beautiful, and how do you trim your garden. Any business does that, we do that as well,” he said.
“Always to have this very sharp financial mind in the background and not just fall in love with product or technology for the sake of product and technology, I think is healthy.
“So yes, we trim the garden all the time, but with profitable growing in mind, and meeting our brand promise, always.”
So, which models could be under threat? Well, a report from February 2020 suggested the future of the B-Class was “uncertain”, adding the CLS and Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupé would eventually be consolidated into a single electric coupé.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s line-up currently comprises as many as 20 distinct model ranges (plus a raft of high-performance Mercedes-AMG variants, with EQ models on the way, too), spanning from the A-Class family to the flagship (outgoing) Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.