Europe is hurting, and Mercedes-Benz is feeling the brunt. There simply aren’t enough bluebloods driving off in Mercedes-Benz’s flagship S-Class, so the company is cutting production drastically, and keeping supplies low, until the next S-Class debuts sometime next year.
Bad news for Benz: the S-Class is the company’s most profitable car. And sales are declining rapidly, not just in Europe but in China. While Mercedes-Benz climbed 7 percent there, BMW and perennial breadwinner Audi rocketed 59 and 21 percent, respectively. In Europe, sales of the S-Class were down by 27 percent, from a high just eight months ago. And in America, there’s been a steady decline from May, from more than 1,000 that month to just 925 in September.
Hence, S-Class production will be scaled down to just one shift at the Sindelfingen plant outside Benz’s headquarters of Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz estimates that 8,000 less S-Classes will enter the world as a result. And the workers who used to build the S-Class will, in a strange twist of irony, build one of Benz’s cheapest models (at least in the American market): the C-Class.