Mercedes-Benz could trim its lineup in coming years to help boost profits as the costs for electrification and self-driving technologies take their toll on the bottom line of parent company Daimler.
Daimler on Tuesday reported a sharp drop in profits for 2019, with the net figure coming in at 2.7 billion euros (approximately $2.92 billion), down from 7.6 billion euros the year before. The automaker blamed the drop on the high cost of developing new products and technology, plus a “substantial cash outflow” connected with legal proceedings relating to diesel vehicles.”
So what's potentially on the chopping block? Citing anonymous sources, German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Monday that the CLS and AMG GT 4-Door Coupe won't spawn direct successors. Instead, the swoopy sedans will reportedly be replaced by a single electric model.
The future of the B-Class compact minivan sold overseas is also uncertain, with Mercedes officials reportedly considering turning the model into a crossover.
Some models that we know are on their way out are the S-Class Coupe and S-Class Convertible, as well as the X-Class pickup truck sold overseas.
Mercedes could stand to lose a few models. For example, the two-door S-Class models sit in a niche segment but have to face internal competition from the SL and AMG GT, as well as strong rivals from other brands. And with consumers turning away from sedans, Mercedes doesn't need the E-Class, CLS, AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, and an upcoming EQS all competing in the mid-size sedan segment.
Handelsblatt also reported that Daimler could look to reduce its global workforce by up to 15,000 staff, via voluntary redundancy and early retirement programs, to further cut costs.
Daimler announced some jobs cuts last November but didn't state how many. The automaker said at the time that it will also fix wages and reduce spending in non-core areas, including investments in property, plant and equipment, and some R&D. The automaker also plans to increase its focus on higher-margin vehicles.