Mercedes has made it crystal clear it wants to go deeper into the luxury territory by focusing on larger and more expensive vehicles (from C-Class above) to the detriment of its compact cars. Even though sales numbers are likely to take a hit after dropping some of the smaller vehicles, the three-pointed star has crunched the numbers and argues it will still make more money. How? Bigger profit margins for fancier cars will compensate for the elimination of certain entry-level models.
German business newspaper Handelsblatt has it on good authority three Mercedes models are living on borrowed time. Specifically, the A-Class hatchback, A-Class sedan, and the B-Class minivan will be discontinued by the middle of the decade. All three are expected to get a mid-cycle update in the near future, but won’t be renewed for a next generation in 2025.
It effectively means Mercedes won’t have an answer to the BMW 1 Series hatchback, 1 Series Sedan, and the 2 Series Active Tourer. The three-pointed star is believed to retain the GLA and GLB crossovers in its portfolio, which makes sense seeing as how people are still flocking to SUVs. The two high-riding models are believed to switch to a new MMA platform, which will underpin two additional compact cars.
The 2 Series Gran Coupe-rivaling CLA swoopy sedan apparently has a future in Mercedes’ lineup and will be sold alongside its wagon counterpart, the CLA Shooting Brake. With the A-Class Sedan going away, we’re not surprised the CLA is staying, but we weren’t expecting the CLA SB to survive. The luxury wagon represents a rarified segment and we’ve never heard anything from BMW about doing a 1 Series / 2 Series Touring.
The Bavarian brand is also taking a good look at its compact offerings considering the upcoming Euro 7 emissions regulations. Meeting those will require big investments in combustion engines and/or the implementation of plug-in hybrid drivetrains, with the latter creating packaging issues. Autocar reported earlier this year about how BMW will thoroughly analyze the future of its small ICE-powered vehicles.
At Audi, it has been officially confirmed the A1 Sportback and Q2 subcompact models will be discontinued in the coming years.
Source: Handelsblatt (subscription required)