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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Mercedes-Benz sharpening the axe for more models

Three-pointed star's mass reduction will see its line-up drop from 33 to 14 models globally.

Mercedes-Benz will reportedly intensify its bodystyle clampdown over the coming years as it embarks on an extensive streamlining process that will see a number of present models fall by the wayside.

Having confirmed three years ago that coupe and cabriolets versions of the then still unseen W206 C-Class wouldn’t materialise, the three-pointed star, at the same time, announced that an all-new model, the CLE, would serve as replacement for the pair as well as the two-door and drop-top E-Class versions.

CLE debuting this year

Spotted sporadically since 2021 undergoing testing, the CLE is anticipated to premiere this year based on the same MRA2 platform as the C-Class, and with similar dimensions as opposed to those of the E-Class.

Mercedes-Benz readying more models for the axe
The initiator of the four-door coupe segment, the CLS, looks set to bow-out with the current third generation.

According to a report from the United States though, the CLE could be the final all-new cabriolet/coupe model Stuttgart will produce as part of the mentioned reduction.

ALSO READ: Mercedes-Benz still supporting cabriolets and coupes but with reduced future role

CLS set to bow-out

Citing comments from a senior Mercedes-Benz executive, Car and Driver reports that only 14 of the current 33 bodystyles will be retained as the brand prepares for an electric only future before 2030.

Besides the departure of the mentioned C-Class and E-Class models, the four-door version of the AMG GT is unlikely to see another generation post 2025, with the same applying to the CLS that effectively created the four-door coupe segment in 2004.

Mercedes-Benz readying more models for the axe
A new C-Class Estate won’t happen after 2028.

Potentially also on the chopping block, but only after 2028, is the C-Class Estate and the CLA that will be renewed for a third and final generation, along with the Shooting Brake, in 2025 with no follow-up after 2030.

“At the end of the day, we simply don’t need estate cars [wagons] or underperforming two-door offerings to boost volumes. The most essential elements of sustainable contemporary luxury cars are space and time… That’s our number one priority — not another fancy body style, a model that only works in Europe, or one last stab at a dying segment,” the mentioned executive was quoted by the American publication as saying.

Set to continue though are the coupe versions of the GLC and GLE, and after 2026, a reported four-door version of the SL, as well as a new fully electric SUV called the GLG.

Mercedes-Benz readying more models for the axe
CLA Shooting Brake will be renewed one last time in 2025.

Plug being pulled on EQ

As is known by now, an electric version of the G-Class, the EQG, will make its appearance later this year as the likely last new EQ model after Stuttgart surprisingly confirmed last month that it plans on doing away with the EQ moniker by the end of next year.

“With the goal of our parent brand Mercedes-Benz becoming fully electric by the end of the decade, we will adapt the positioning of the vehicles and thus also the use of the brand in line with the times, but it is too early for details on this at the moment,” an unnamed Mercedes-Benz spokesperson told Reuters.

The model reduction is anticipated to start soon but before then, expect Benz to make a detailed announcement outlining its plans in preparation for 2030.

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