America’s Car And Driver is reporting the penchant for premium automotive brands to add niche models may be on the wane – but sadly coupe and convertible models head the ‘To Be Jettisoned’ lists.
Quoting BMW’s sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson and Mercedes-Benz chief Dieter Zetsche, the American publication claims a cull is underway.
He added that – notwithstanding the success of the 4 Series coupe and convertible (pictured below) – BMW had struggled with convertibles. “The segment that is not really progressing is the roadster segment,” Mr Robertson revealed. “It never really recovered after 2008, and it never picked up in Asia. Therefore we’re working with Toyota on a platform to try to gain some economies of scale.”
Speculation points to BMW’s version of that joint-venture sports car being called the Z5.
What has been successful for BMW is the four-door Gran Coupe models which reflects similar sentiments at Mercedes-Benz.
“The expansion into China and other emerging markets (has provided) huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars,” Dr Zetsche explained to journalists at the Geneva Motor Show. “Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.”
Dr Zetsche said the specialty cars – coupes and convertibles – were always niche cars.
He added ‘Benz will always offer two-door models. But the reality is the proliferation of different models will be reduced.
The Mercedes-Benz lineup currently includes coupe and cabriolet versions of the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class as well as the SLK and SL roadsters and the AMG GT in both coupe and convertible.
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