In the last few years, the advent of compact sedans and crossovers has become quite overwhelming. Even two of the major manufacturers that “started it all” have to admit that there is not enough space left in their lineup.
Mercedes-Benz and BMW have finally realized that their coupes and cabrios are quite too many. This made them come onto a decision to get rid of some of their models in the near future. In a separate interview with Car & Driver, both Mercedes-Benz and BMW admitted that a great deal of their convertibles and coupes are becoming endangered with newer, more in-demand body styles.
Ian Robertson, BMW’s head for Sales and Marketing, explained that though the company may still have the upcoming X7 and X2 along with a few more models, BMW has also decided that they will be removing some body styles in the coming years. The segment, he said is “rather full”.
Likewise, Mercedes-Benz’s Dieter Zetsche said that the company’s recent “expansion into China” including some of the “emerging markets” gave them better opportunities most especially for the sedan. Unfortunately, some of their coupes and cabrios no longer measure up to their expectations.
BMW went on to say that their market for convertibles hasn’t improved since 2008. Also, their convertibles never became famous with the Asian market from the very start. These are some of the reasons why the company has co-developed the Z4 roadster’s successor together with Toyota.
There is also the inevitable fact that the 4-door coupes are becoming highly in-demand as opposed to BMW’s 2-door models. According to Robertson, they have built the Gran Coupes which actually worked for most people. However, with the new models they are adding in, the large coupes may also be at stake.
For Mercedes, Zetsche confirms that the upcoming versions of their coupes and convertibles would not be as many as what we have at the present. All the same, we can still look forward to seeing some of its four-door coupe models most especially the Mercedes-Benz 6 Series Gran Coupe. After all, there remains a fairly reasonable demand for the German marque’s large coupe models.
Good news is, both Zetsche and Robertson agree that they are not eliminating the crossover utility vehicles in their lineup. The CUV segment includes the very attractive Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA coupes. Rather, both BMW and Mercedes’ first round of elimination will be focusing more on their so-called “niche vehicles” or specialty cars.