Mercedes will dramatically reduce its model line-up as well as platform and powertrain options, as the maker seeks to reduce complexity and optimise profit.
Markus Schafer, Mercedes R&D boss said the drive came as a result of its focus on electric vehicles, and would range from cutting car lines to single components used in its products.
“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.”
The manufacturer currently has 45 models, but Schafer did not put a figure on how many it would axe.
Schafer named models including the G-Class, SL, AMG GT, S-Class and more, as each have 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 said.
Talking about the future of more traditional powertrains such as the AMG V8 unit, Schafer said: “The plan is not to kick out the V8 and V12, for example, so long as there is customer demand.” However, he said the incoming Euro7 legislation would force the maker to reflect on which powertrains will be worth putting through the process. “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.”
Mercedes has completed the introduction of four variants of its 2.0-litre unit, in four-cylinder and six-cylinder guises and available in petrol and diesel. Built on the same line, Schafer said: “This family of four engines can respond to any market change immediately. We planned this protection a couple of years ago in order to protect us in terms of different demands and regulations.”