Model may not be replaced as the global market for two-seat convertibles contracts
Mark Tisshaw
2 October 2018

The Mercedes-Benz SLC faces an uncertain future after Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche said a replacement is by no means a formality.

“These speciality cars have lost their share in our total portfolio,” said Zetsche. “For a particularly long time, China has led growth, and China shows little interest in cars such as these.

“Our portfolio is not something defined for eternity. We revisit constantly, and that’s what we’re doing. Any decisions we will communicate in the future.”

Without referring to the SLC, Mercedes development boss Ola Källenius also said that Mercedes could look to make changes to its product line-up in the future.

“We’ve has 20-plus years of uninterrupted broadening of the portfolio,” he said. “In 2022, we’ll have 40-plus models. Even if we love every child - and we do - we’ll be rational. We will not hesitate to slim down if we look at the economics. We will look at the next 10 years and cater to where the market is going.”

Källenius added that Mercedes is still open to finding yet more niches. “We won’t rule out creativity,” he said.

The SLC, badged SLK until 2016, was launched in 1996 and kick-started the industry-wide trend for folding hard-top convertibles. 

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2 October 2018

The market for two-seater convertibles may be contracting, but Porsche and BMW still think it's worthwhile having a presence in this market.  Perhaps the weak sales of the SLC is more to do with it being, at least as a driver's car, a bit rubbish?

2 October 2018

 

Daniel Joseph wrote:

The market for two-seater convertibles may be contracting, but Porsche and BMW still think it's worthwhile having a presence in this market.  Perhaps the weak sales of the SLC is more to do with it being, at least as a driver's car, a bit rubbish?

You beat me to it Daniel!

Porsche doesn’t have a problem shifting Boxsters.  Mercedes has become too focussed on sales in China, and not focussed enough on making the SLC both look better and be better to drive.

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