Could We Be Saying Goodbye To This Once Popular Mercedes Model
Say it ain’t so, Mercedes!by Kirby Garlitos, on
The downside to having a growing portfolio of models is that at some point, automakers will have too many models on its hands. The addition of new models could even lead to the elimination of others and that appears to be the case with Mercedes-Benz, which is reportedly considering getting rid of the SLC, the once popular roadster that also went by the “SLK” nameplate in the past.
A report from Automobile Magazine revealed that the German automaker’s new sports car strategy will revolve around changes to both the SL and AMG GT models, including the possibility that both models will end up sharing a new lightweight architecture. The latter, in particular, is expected to remain a two-seater in its next iteration whereas the SL is expected to receive a classic folding soft-top in place of the retractable hardtop seen in current models. But neither of those things are the biggest news to come out of the automaker’s new strategy. Conspicuous by its absence in Mercedes’ future plans is the SLC, which has apparently “disappeared for good in the cycle plan.” This development is an interesting turn from the company’s past rhetoric about the model, which was supposed to be redesigned to fit into Merc’s new MSA platform. The automaker has yet to confirm or deny the fate of the SLC, but if this report holds true, it appears that the Mercedes SLC’s fate isn’t looking too good at the moment.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
The revolving doors of the auto industry is on full display once again
It’s a bittersweet swan song for the Mercedes SLC if it does end up getting shelved by Mercedes, not only because the nameplate didn’t get enough of a chance to establish itself (Mercedes only started using the SLC name in 2015), but to that point, it’s previous name, the SLK, gave birth to some of the best Mercedes sports cars that spanned three generations, dating back to its debut in 1996. At one point, the SLK was one of Mercedes’ most popular models, selling almost 50,000 models in 2005 alone, the year when the roadster was at the height of its popularity.
Granted, sales of the SLC have not approached those levels, but that’s partly due to the growing number of competing models flooding the compact sports car market these days, not to mention Mercedes also releasing models that came a little too close to the SLC’s wheelhouse. If Mercedes does get rid of the SLC, it would validate related reports of the automaker’s plan to place more emphasis on the C-Class Convertible as a possible replacement to the SLC.
Whatever happens with the model moving forward, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that it’s had a long and memorable life, mostly under the SLK nameplate. It’s a little disheartening to see Mercedes not having as much patience with the SLC, but that’s the nature of the business, especially when it comes to this industry. Growth comes at a cost, and it appears that Mercedes is willing to pay for that with the SLC Class.
Read our full review on the Mercedes SLC here.
Source: Automobile Magazine