There would only be one shift left that will produce Mercedes-Benz’s flagship sedan, the current S-Class, due to the drop in demand for the model. The automaker’s decision to cut its output is meant to be temporary. By next month, workers will transfer to the assembly line that builds the C-Class until the start of production of the next-generation 2014 S-Class.
In the fourth quarter, Mercedes will build about 8000 fewer S-Class sedans. Mercedes has sold 8214 units by the end of last month, signifying a 7.5% decrease in the S-Class’s U.S. sales year-to-date.
Sales in September 2012 fell 36.1% compared to the September 2011 with only 925 units sold. S-Class sales in Europe fell 27% year-to-date. The next-generation S-Class may be offered in seven variants, which include a two-door convertible and six-door Pullman-style limo.
As Maybach is now out of the picture, short wheelbase models stretch 200.8 inches overall with long-wheelbase (added 7.1-inches in length), extra-long wheelbase (13.8 inches longer), and Pullman (25.6 inches longer) models. The CL-Class may have its name changed to SLC. It will be available with the two-door coupe and convertible body styles.
It’s believed that a coupe-like four-door is possible. Mercedes expects V-8 and V-12 models to be back. There’s also a possibility that there would also be a hybrid and the diesel V-6. It’s likely that a base gasoline V-6 with an output of higher than 300 hp may be the new S-Class’ base model for the U.S. market.
The S-Class is the flagship so it will be where the automaker will showcase its new technologies such as Magic Body Control, a new camera-based suspension dampening system; intelligent LED headlights, and rear seatbelt-mounted airbags (Beltbag). It will be also be equipped with an all-new active cruise control system that will carry out passing maneuvers and change lanes.