German car maker embarks on aggressive new growth strategy, which will see new models launch which have no direct predeccessors
4 November 2014

Mercedes-Benz has embarked on the most intensive new model development program in its history, according to the company’s head of research and development Thomas Weber.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Mercedes-Benz’s new R&D centre in Beijing this week, Weber confirmed plans for the introduction of 12 all-new Mercedes-Benz models by 2020 – each additional to the German car maker’s existing model line-up and without any direct predecessor.

“Moving forward our plans include the most intensive development cycle Mercedes-Benz has ever undertaken, Weber told Autocar. “It is additional to our regular development activities for the replacement of existing models and will significantly strengthen our position within the market”.

Confirmation of Mercedes-Benz’s new model plans come after a recent announcement in which the company divulged plans to add 10 new plug-in hybrid models to its line-up.

That strategy is part of a technological push aimed at using electrification to dramatically reduce overall fleet consumption in efforts to meet tough EU emission regulations due to come into effect in 2020.

It also follows news that Mercedes-Benz plans to alter the naming of key models with the GLK, M-class and GL set adopt new GLC, GLE and GLS nomenclatures.

Details to the models to be added to Mercedes-Benz’s line-up remain under wraps, although they are set to include models such as the GLE Coupe, S-class Maybach, S-class Maybach Pullman, CLA Shooting Brake, C-class cabriolet, GLC Coupe and possibly a production version of the company’s new G-Code concept car also revealed at the opening of Mercedes-Benz’s new Chinese R&D centre.

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Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The C-Class shares a lot of its looks with the new S-Class, furthering its desirability

Can our perennial runner-up in this class finally reach the top spot?

4 November 2014
Where will it end? It certainly leaves JLR with some catching up to do, with their current 9-model line-up

4 November 2014
...it would be really interesting to know what the profitability is on some of the lower selling models. Or do Audi, BMW and Merc simply move into a niche because their rivals have? Do they feel that they can't fall behind? Interesting also that the most profitable per unit manufacturers - Porsche and Land Rover - mainly concentrate on doing one thing well.

5 November 2014
As excellent as MB's recently redesigned models are, I think MB is diluting their brand too much.

5 November 2014
As Apple has shown, fewer models but well designed / planned and sufficiently enticing can make a business work, really well. Mercedes may feel Audi is stealing a lead to all the niches and they don't want to be seen as the followers but the leaders. The CLS was an example where Mercedes got there first, established a market, a lead and it bore them fruit. It can't hurt the customer to have more choice...

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