Let’s talk about Mercedes-Benz for a bit. I’m not that old, I’m only 23, so I grew up around the tail end of when Mercedes-Benz were still an exclusive high end brand. If you wanted a Mercedes sedan you had the choice of large, medium, and small. If you wanted a Mercedes SUV you had utilitarian or suburban. If you wanted a coupe or roadster the choices were big or small.
But then came the A-Class and Mercedes’ expansion into the mainstream. They weren’t the only premium brand to branch out, Audi had the A3 earlier. BMW also had the 3-Series Compact. Thanks to competition and wanting younger customers, Mercedes and its rivals sought to fill more niches.
Today the Germans have an ever expanding lineup that seems unnecessarily complicated. As of the time of writing, Mercedes has no less than 29 different models covering 9 different body styles. That’s before we get to engine choices, trim levels, and the seemingly endless options list.
2016 isn’t even done yet and Mercedes have revealed their plan for 2017. Sooner or later people will be buying Mercedes-Benz cars in the same way I order coffee – point at a random one and hope for the best.
They’ve just launched the new E-Class sedan in New Zealand but there’s still the facelift CLA, GLC Coupe, C-Class Cabriolet, E-Class Wagon, and the E-Class Long Wheelbase for certain markets due out by the end of the year.
Next year we’ll get facelifts for the S-Class and GLA. New models include the Coupe and Cabriolet variants of the E-Class, an “All-Terrain” E-Class, as well as Mercedes’ entry into the ute market.
More interestingly, the GT R which was unveiled earlier this year, is set for a 2017 launch alongside the long anticipated convertible version of the AMG GT, the GT C Roadster. However, if we look ahead there’s also plan for a GT C Coupe which could suggest a new model or a new name for the AMG GT.
Either way, that’s at least 7 new models to join the existing line up. That’s not including yet to be announced updates for other models (looking at you G-Class). Also worth mentioning is the lack of a dedicated alternative fuel model. Perhaps Mercedes wants to keep that a secret for later on. Or perhaps they’ll continue their strategy of putting alternative fuel powertrains in existing models.
It’ll be interesting to see where Mercedes goes in the future as leaders in innovation and technology. But good luck to whoever goes into a Mercedes showroom next year unprepared for the vast array of model options.