For an automaker, renaming one of its established models does take some courage, as no one can predict how the market will react to the change. Just look at the re-branded Infiniti lineup, can you name at least one of its models except the highly-publicized Q50 sedan?
Well, according to AutoNews Europe, Mercedes-Benz appears to have the courage to rename its SUV lineup so that each model is aligned with the most closely related sedan. Mercedes’ first ever SUV and one of its best-selling models, the M-Class, will therefore be renamed as the GLE-Class, to show it’s related to the E-Class, just like the GLA is related to the A-Class.
The change of name is expected to take place in early 2015, when the M-Class receives a facelift. Consequently, the crossover coupe version, previewed by the Concept Coupe SUV revealed in April at the Beijing Auto Show, will be called the GLE Coupe.
But more changes are coming. The next generation of the GLK compact SUV will be renamed the GLC-Class to show its connection to the C-Class, while the GL-Class full-size SUV will be called the GLS-Class. The latter will migrate even more upmarket and will offer a Maybach trim level.
Mercedes-Benz has already applied the same naming system to its four-door coupes, the CLA and CLS, although in the case of the CLS, the suggested connection to the S-Class doesn’t exist, as the model is based on the E-Class’ platform.
The naming changes are said to be pushed by marketing chief Ola Källenius, with the executive aiming to bring more clarity to Mercedes’ lineup.