Despite losing the luxury car sales crown in the United States for the second year in a row, Mercedes-Benz is just about 4,000 sales behind rivals from BMW. This means a few tweaks to the existing model lineup could be all the manufacturer needs to catch the Bavarians and it turns out that’s exactly what the dealers want.
In a recent interview with Automotive News, the brand’s Dealer Board chairman admitted Mercedes is listening to what its dealers say and is simplifying its model lineup in the United States. Jeff Swickard said the process is already underway and will continue throughout 2021 and 2022.
“The dealer board did ask for Mercedes to work on our product simplification initiative to reduce the amount of model variants imported to the United States. I feel like they took us really seriously, and they made a lot of changes we’ll see in 2021 and 2022. I think we’ll continue to see them simplify their product lineup,” Swickard told the online publication.
The dealer representative couldn’t specify which models will be trimmed, though perhaps it won’t take long until we see the actual results from this process. We don’t expect huge shuffles within the marque’s range, as Mercedes will probably focus on reducing the number of trim levels and available powertrains.
“Consumer preference changes over time, and we’ve adjusted, and are continuing to adjust, to meet those demands,” Swickard added. He didn’t provide details about the company’s short-term plans but admitted MBUSA has been listening to the dealer board’s wishes and reacting with “changes that make sense.”
During the interview, Swickard reiterated the SUVs are the most important vehicles for the German automaker in the United States. Even though all models are “critical to our success,” having an SUV for every buyer is “really important these days.”