"We are too busy managing the confusion of customer models, vehicle logistics and manufacturing," said Schuster. "Each of these models requires marketing support, training from the dealer, even a service and inventory of parts."
For dealers, more models resulted in higher inventory levels, which increased floor plan balances, resulting in higher interest expense.
In addition to complications, Mercedes' strategy to target niches has allowed it to expand its network to the benefit of its customers. This approach has borne fruit: Mercedes has been the American champion of luxury goods sales for three consecutive years.
But even now, the extension of the American Mercedes model continues. This year will see the introduction of two new users. nameplates. In March, Mercedes began selling the class-A compact sedan, its least expensive nameplate. The GLB crossing is expected to arrive in stores by Christmas, they announced at the meeting.
"We need to look closely at which segments, which niches, are big enough to allow us to compete with them," Dietmar Exler said. News from the automobile last month before the announcement of his resignation last week as CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. "We will not go into a niche if it does not make any sense economically."
Ola Källenius, who will take up the post of managing director of Daimler on Wednesday, May 22, acknowledged that the portfolio could be reduced.
"We have just over 40 models now," said Källenius at a media roundtable on the sidelines of the Shanghai auto show in April, evoking all body styles. He said anticipate the consolidation of a "model or two" in the future.