Mercedes-Benz may be dumping one or more of its entry-level products in the not-too-distant future.
According to Autocar, Ola Källenius, the automaker’s CEO, told attendees at the Future of the Car Summit hosted by the Financial Times: “We will talk more next week, but it’s not our goal to be a competitor of the volume producers.
“That’s not what the Mercedes-Benz brand stands for. So stay tuned as far as our product portfolio is concerned. But we would rather be looking up than down.”
It’s unclear which model Källenius is referring to, but the company has a number of products riding on its front- and all-wheel drive MFA2 architecture, including the A-Class sedan and hatch, CLA “four-door coupe”, B-Class mini-people mover, GLA five-seat crossover, and GLB seven-seat crossover. There’s also the GLA-based EQA EV.
The current A-Class is oldest model in that list, having debuted in 2018. In the markets where it’s sold, it serves as the entry-point to the Mercedes-Benz range.
Mercedes-Benz recently announced the A-Class sedan will be withdrawn from the US market by the end of 2022, with the CLA and GLA to become the brand’s most affordable models there.
Although we’re not privy to any inside info, the A-Class, with its slim margins, and the B-Class, which appeals primarily to European buyers, are the most likely vehicles to be axed.
If the A-Class is to be given its retrenchment papers, it will likely be axed at the end of its current lifecycle, as facelifted prototypes were spied back in December.
Like its German luxury rivals, Mercedes-Benz has prioritised production of larger and more profitable models since the semiconductor shortage hit.
Additionally, Mercedes-Benz has long talked about trimming its sprawling selection of models with internal combustion engines in order to free up space and development funds for new all-electric models, such as the EQE, EQE SUV, EQS and EQS SUV.
To this end, the company has axed the SLK/SLC convertible hardtop, and S-Class two-door models. It will soon consolidate the C-Class and E-Class coupe and convertible into one lineup.