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    • By William Maley
      For the past few years, luxury automakers have been trying to fill every single niche they could think of. It's why we have such models as the BMW 5-Series GT and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Coupe for example. But now, BMW and Mercedes-Benz admit they have too many models and are planning to cut some.
      “The checkerboard of body styles and segments is rather full, although there are still a few to be finished. We’ve got an X2 and an X7 coming, and there are a few others, but I also know—because we’ve taken decisions—that some body styles will be removed in the future,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, to Car and Driver.
      “There’s definitely more of a move toward four-door coupes. We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked. People like the lower seating position and the sporty dynamics but also the fact there’s a door in the back. It’s fair to say that when we look at the checkerboard, because of the new things we’re putting in, there are some things we can take out,” Robertson went on to say.
      Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars harbors the same thoughts.
      “The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars. The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.”
      Yep, it seems coupes and convertibles are on the chopping block - not the SUV-coupe things you were likely hoping for. Now Zetsche did say that would still offer two-door models, but it would not be “in the variety we are having them right now.” Taking into consideration there are coupe and convertible versions of the C, E, and S-Class, along with the SLK and SL roadsters, and the AMG GT coupe and convertible, we wouldn't be shocked if a couple of those models disappear.
      Source: Car and Driver
    • By William Maley
      For the past few years, luxury automakers have been trying to fill every single niche they could think of. It's why we have such models as the BMW 5-Series GT and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Coupe for example. But now, BMW and Mercedes-Benz admit they have too many models and are planning to cut some.
      “The checkerboard of body styles and segments is rather full, although there are still a few to be finished. We’ve got an X2 and an X7 coming, and there are a few others, but I also know—because we’ve taken decisions—that some body styles will be removed in the future,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, to Car and Driver.
      “There’s definitely more of a move toward four-door coupes. We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked. People like the lower seating position and the sporty dynamics but also the fact there’s a door in the back. It’s fair to say that when we look at the checkerboard, because of the new things we’re putting in, there are some things we can take out,” Robertson went on to say.
      Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars harbors the same thoughts.
      “The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars. The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.”
      Yep, it seems coupes and convertibles are on the chopping block - not the SUV-coupe things you were likely hoping for. Now Zetsche did say that would still offer two-door models, but it would not be “in the variety we are having them right now.” Taking into consideration there are coupe and convertible versions of the C, E, and S-Class, along with the SLK and SL roadsters, and the AMG GT coupe and convertible, we wouldn't be shocked if a couple of those models disappear.
      Source: Car and Driver

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Mercedes-Benz Posts Best-Ever February Sales Volume With 24,522 Units
      ATLANTA, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz today reported the highest February sales in its history with 24,522 units up 6.9% from the 22,941 vehicles sold in February 2016. Adding 2,513 units for Vans and 348 units for smart, Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) achieved its highest February to date with a grand total of 27,383 vehicles, up 6.8% from a year ago.
      "We're off to a solid start to the year, and expect steady growth as we approach the close of the first quarter," said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of MBUSA. "Strong demand for our SUV lineup continues, and we look forward to the launch of more new models throughout the year."
      Mercedes-Benz volume leaders in January included the C-Class, GLE and E-Class (including the CLS) model lines. The C-Class took the lead at 6,145, followed by the GLE sales of 4,017. The E-Class rounded out the top three with 3,471 units sold.
      Mercedes-AMG high-performance models sold 2,548 units in February, with a total of 5,144 units sold year-to-date (up 31.6%).
      MERCEDES-BENZ USA 
      Sales -- February 2017
        Mercedes-Benz Passenger Vehicles
      Feb-17
      Feb-16
      Monthly %
      YTD 2017
      YTD 2016
      Yearly %
                    B-CLASS
      56
      37
      51.4%
      109
      95
      14.7%
                    CLA
      1,526
      1,474
      3.5%
      2,931
      4,642
      -36.9%
                    C-CLASS
      6,145
      6,102
      0.7%
      12,598
      11,181
      12.7%
                    E-CLASS/CLS
      3,471
      2,700
      28.6%
      7,626
      5,490
      38.9%
                    S-CLASS
      1,002
      1,558
      -35.7%
      2,214
      2,835
      -21.9%
                    SLC
      268
      270
      -0.7%
      504
      536
      -6.0%
                    SL
      230
      369
      -37.7%
      462
      583
      -20.8%
                    AMG GT
      93
      95
      -2.1%
      174
      220
      -20.9%
                    *SLS AMG
      -
      1
      -
      -
      1
      -
                    GLA
      2,194
      1,597
      37.4%
      4,201
      4,638
      -9.4%
                    GLC
      2,765
      3,278
      -15.6%
      5,830
      6,127
      -4.8%
                    GLE
      4,017
      3,948
      1.7%
      7,987
      7,611
      4.9%
                    GLS
      2,467
      1,226
      101.2%
      4,803
      3,022
      58.9%
                    G-CLASS 
      288
      286
      0.7%
      610
      624
      -2.2%
                    TOTAL
      24,522
      22,941
      6.9%
      50,049
      47,605
      5.1%
                    Vans1
      2,513
      2,269
      10.8%
      4,562
      4,168
      9.5%
                    smart
      348
      422
      -17.5%
      672
      821
      -18.1%
                    MBUSA
      Combined Total
      Feb-17
      Feb-16
      Monthly %
      YTD 2017
      YTD 2016
      Yearly %
                    GRAND TOTAL
      27,383
      25,632
      6.8%
      55,283
      52,594
      5.1%

      1Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner Sprinter and Metris Vans are sold and marketed in the U.S. by Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler Vans USA, respectively.

      *out of production
    • By William Maley
      Bentley has been hinting for awhile about adding a second SUV to its lineup, something smaller than the current Bentayga. This new SUV could go all-electric according to a report from Automotive News.
      "I can assure you that Bentley -- on the long term view -- will not stay with one model only in the SUV lineup. We have clear indications that a smaller Bentayga as a Bentley SUV would find great acceptance," said Wolfgang Duerheimer, Bentley CEO.
      But there is the concern that the smaller SUV could eat into the sales of the Bentayga. Hence the idea of making it an EV.
      "If you are looking for such a car [small SUV] then we are looking to that in combination with the possibilities to go full electric. It only makes sense if you get really new customers into the brand," said Rolf Frech, Bentley's board member for engineering.
      Frech said that if this idea was to go forward, it would likely come in 2020 or beyond when Bentley reaches stage two of their electrification plans. Part one is the introduction of the Bentayga PHEV this year, followed by the Flying Spur and Mulsanne.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Bentley has been hinting for awhile about adding a second SUV to its lineup, something smaller than the current Bentayga. This new SUV could go all-electric according to a report from Automotive News.
      "I can assure you that Bentley -- on the long term view -- will not stay with one model only in the SUV lineup. We have clear indications that a smaller Bentayga as a Bentley SUV would find great acceptance," said Wolfgang Duerheimer, Bentley CEO.
      But there is the concern that the smaller SUV could eat into the sales of the Bentayga. Hence the idea of making it an EV.
      "If you are looking for such a car [small SUV] then we are looking to that in combination with the possibilities to go full electric. It only makes sense if you get really new customers into the brand," said Rolf Frech, Bentley's board member for engineering.
      Frech said that if this idea was to go forward, it would likely come in 2020 or beyond when Bentley reaches stage two of their electrification plans. Part one is the introduction of the Bentayga PHEV this year, followed by the Flying Spur and Mulsanne.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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