Mercedes-Benz COO Markus Schaefer said the company is less than optimistic about the future of station wagons and other niches as electrification shifts the balance of traditional market sectors.
In an interview at the Munich Motor Show, Schaefer admitted that “station wagons” will soon be a thing of the past. This market is under pressure as more and more customers switch to SUVs and barns are in demand in only a few markets.
Previously, other sources at Mercedes-Benz indicated that with the advent of more fuel efficient SUVs, especially more aerodynamic electric ones, the station wagon market is shrinking. Europe is now one of the few places on the world market where long versions are bought in large quantities, as China and the United States prefer cars in the SUV segment.
Schaefer also admitted that Mercedes is evaluating the future of coupes and convertibles:
“We have to admit that the demand for convertibles is falling globally – China is not a priority market for roadsters and there are fewer convertible buyers in Europe than there were a few years ago. But I think it is a very attractive and emotional product. ”
However, the company will not be able to abandon one thing in its future cars – leather. Despite the shift to greener industries, including new ways of making steel and electric motors, leather will remain a priority material for Mercedes-Benz cars. In particular, Schaefer wants to preserve materials on the steering wheel.
“You have a vegan interior that is available today, just like Artico. But we don’t want to give up the skin. We study the way the leather is processed, we study it in detail and therefore we know where it comes from, “Schaefer said.
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