BMW And Mercedes Say They Have Too Many Models, May Axe Some Coupes And Convertibles

The emergence of tiny sub-niches in the market in recent years has been rather extraordinary and now, two of the biggest perpetrators trying to fill every imaginable slot in their range have admitted they have too many models.

According to Car&Driver, both BMW and Mercedes-Benz believe that a number of their body styles are under threat, including traditional coupes and convertibles.

Speaking with the publication, BMW’s head of sales and marketing Ian Robertson said:

“The checkerboard of body styles and segments is rather full, although there are still a few to be finished. We’ve got an X2 and an X7 coming, and there are a few others, but I also know—because we’ve taken decisions—that some body styles will be removed in the future.”

Mercedes-Benz head Dieter Zetsche echoed these sentiments while speaking to the press at the Geneva Motor Show saying:

 “The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars. The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.”

According to BMW, the market for open sports cars never really recovered after 2008 and has never proved popular in Asia, hence why the brand decided to co-develop the successor to the Z4 roadster with Toyota.

What’s more, Robertson suggested that large two door models are at risk given the burgeoning demand for four-door coupes.

“There’s definitely more of a move toward four-door coupes. We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked. People like the lower seating position and the sporty dynamics but also the fact there’s a door in the back. It’s fair to say that when we look at the checkerboard, because of the new things we’re putting in, there are some things we can take out.”



    • kimbentsen


      • Six Thousand Times

        I don’t understand the question.

    • Bo Hanan

      So the Germans have figured out what everybody else always new. Sad part is there 4-Door Coupes aren’t coupes.

    • Cobrajet

      Still need the 8 series to come along.

    • Bash

      I don’t think you know what you are saying..

    • Sukhoi31m3

      I hate to see the 2 and 4 series coupes get cut, but they probably will. Figures.

  • Dustin

    Oh good, so we’ll have the X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7, at least. Ultimate driving machines.

    Seriously, when I read they were axing models, I suspected it was the overlap of regular sedan, so-called “coupe” sedan, wagon, and lifted “GT” hatchback. Nope – those 4 similar styles remain, and goodbye coupes and convertibles…

    • CarbonX3M

      The 3GT is dying. BMW already said there would be no new version. It’s a real shame too. It’s the only one that was different, with it’s longer wheelbase, useful hatch and real back seat. Sure, it looks weird, but form follows function for some of us.
      They should be killing the 4 Gran Coupe instead. It’s basically a regular 3 series hatch. No long wheelbase, no extra space, no nothing. A completely redundant waste.

      • Andrew M

        I can tell you that the next 4 series gran coupe will indeed be a mix of both models: gran coupe and gt.

        That’s the only way it makes sense to me (thinking of the upcoming 6 series GT).

        • CarbonX3M

          I hope thats the case, or they import the LWB 3 series from China. The regular 3 is too small for some people, and the 5s back seat is a joke. I traded in my 750Li for the 3GT. I really don’t want to have to go back to another one. BMWs huge depreciation means that a $120k 750i will be worth about $75k in a year, and losing $45k in a year just to have a usable back seat is ridiculous.

          • TheHake

            Is it really necessary to buy the V12…? 😉 But I agree. The 3GT is the only useable 3-series for anyone with kids or when someone needs to use the back seat..

  • Karl

    I could have told them that! It seems the Germans have a vehicle in every established category and ones they downright created. Something had to give. Cannibalizing of their own models was inevitable.

  • Evan McMaster

    Fuuuuuuuuck. Getting rid of nice cars for more SUVs. what is the world coming to. SUVs are horrible vehicles, both in looks and performance and handling.

    • Kagan

      Money money money must be funny in a rich man’s world.

    • Six_Tymes

      yep, because no one is going to care very much about performance and handling 15-30 years from now. most will all be autonomous by then.

    • Ken Lyns

      But they handle pot holes and curbs in urban environments pretty well.

    • TheHake

      They have space, you get in and out easily, your view of the road is better. How are they horrible vehicles?

  • Elmediterraneo

    Actually the choice for a 2 door or 4 door coupe by category depends on the habitability of the rear seats.
    – The compacts ones likes the Audi TT or an hypothetic Mercedes SLA are perfect to be 2 door and 2 seats only due to their little size.
    – The middle-sized like the Audi A5, the BMW 4 series or the Mercedes C-Class are big enough to have little rear seats, and their hard access makes the 4 door version more profitable in terms of rear space and trunk space.
    – The upper segment is more obvious in favour of the 4 door coupes like the Mercedes CLS, the Audi A7 or the Porsche Panamera to have huge rear space and a sporty design.
    – When it comes to the luxury segment things has to be more conservative, traditional sedans are high-luxury limousines and the 2 door coupe like the Mercedes S-class coupe or the Bentley Continental have a comfortable rear seats and adds a lot of luxuriness in a GT spirit, especially with a 12 cylinder engine, so you can’t remove the 2 door body in that flagship segment.

    • Sukhoi31m3

      Couldn’t have said it better….

  • Benjamin B.

    Meanwhile Land Rover and Daimler G Wagen is adding models.

    • Bash

      adding SUVs

  • Elmediterraneo

    So that’s the choices they have to make about their future coupe line-up and what to keep on each level…

    – 2 door coupe with 2 seats : Audi TT
    – 4 door coupe with 4 seats : Mercedes CLA
    – 4 door coupe with 4 seats : Audi A5 Sportback
    – 4 door coupe with 4 seats : Audi A7, Mercedes CLS, Porsche Panamera
    – 2 door coupe with 4 seats : Mercedes S-class

    Removing the mid-size 2 door coupe could also kill the convertible that’s why they’ll have to rethink their development on the 4 door basis maybe.

  • Dennis James

    Well, everybody knew this when they saw Mercedes churning out model after model, then BMW following. Everybody but them 🙂

  • ediotsavant

    Two door coupes are useless now. So are convertibles. No surprise they are being eradicated.

    • Sukhoi31m3

      Not useless, because they still get you where you want to go. They’re not practical anymore for most people. Agree, no surprise they’re being eradicated.

  • Six_Tymes

    Iv been saying that for years. same goes for almost all other car makers.

  • By the sounds of it, both Merc’ and BMW will be axing their good (but not big sellers) cars but keeping the bad ones such as the X6. Sounds great!

    • somehow people like ugly big things.

  • Well that answer my question, how can BMW and Mercedes have so many coupé in their lineup… And all available in AMG or M. Meanwhile, Audi Gives you limited options for RS cars. RS6 can only be an Avant, as for RS4 (if new one), RS5 is only a coupé…

    • Elmediterraneo

      Audi has a very particular strategy about RS models. For the 2 door ones no worry they’ll give you everything. But when it comes to RS4/RS5 and RS6/RS7, they keep the Avant and screw the sedan to benefit the 4 door coupe Sportback. The new RS5 will be available as Coupe, Convertirble and Sportback. And the SUV’s will have their RS version like the Q4 (sporty version of the Q3), the Q5 and (I really hope it) so the Q8.

  • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

    ” We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked.”

    Did it really work, or was it because the lease rate on the 3-series was 2.9% and the 4-series Gran Coupe was 1.9% and a higher residual?

    • Sukhoi31m3

      Exactly. “. It’s not really what I want, but with that good of a deal, I guess I’ll get it…”.

      • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

        Oh I actually want a 4GC. Only if BMW didn’t only offer the manual on 1 trim for a few months then cancel it, as if it didn’t happen.

  • gary4205

    In the 60’s General Motors had the same problem!

    • Ken Lyns

      Pretty sure they had the same problem all the way until they went bankrupt in 2009.

    • Cobrajet

      It wasn’t a problem for me.

  • pcurve

    hah! bmw stopped being bmw years ago, nothing surprises me anymore.

    Kill Z4? They already did by sharing next gen Z5 with Toyota.

    Kill 3 series 2 door coupe? They already did by making so ugly… Last gen 3 series couple was a beauty.

    • Belthronding Tinuviel

      e92 is a pure beauty..

  • Cobrajet

    The BMW GT models should be axed instead.

    • Bash

      I agree with you

  • Antonio Bošković

    so i guess this means no new 6 series coupe and convertible

  • Ary Wisesa

    Maybe it has something to do with two-door coupe’s body itself. There was time when sporty and sleek looks can only be delivered in the form of two-door coupe, like frameless window, slooping back, and elegant roofline. Not to mention the aura of exclusivity because usually coupe version is rarer than its saloon conterparts.

    But the main drawbacks of 2-door coupe is its practicability. If you are single or newly married (and maybe don’t have any intention to have kids in near future), owning a coupe is very nice. Especially when you’re a bachelor, an elegant coupe can be a girl magnet. LOL..

    But wait until you have a kid. That elegant coupe suddenly become a nightmare due to its highly unpracticality for a small family. Loading a baby stroller surely is a struggle. Shopping for IKEA furnitures become increasingly challenging. And when you child get older and go to kindergarten, dropping and picking him/her could become annoying ritual due to unpractical door entry. The elegant looks, the sleek roof line, and even that beautiful frameless windows suddenly feel less attractive.

    Back then, customer used to have to decide between the goodlooks and practicality. If you have much money, it won’t be such a problem. You could always buy an SUV and a coupe. Or buy a sedan/wagon and a coupe. You can have it both.

    But economy is getting tougher and tougher now. Having two cars or more in a time is increasingly difficult and expensive. So you have to choose: either goodlooks & sleeknees OR practicality, but you can’t have it both!

    So automaker came up with an excellent proposition: you can have the best of the both world (goodlooks and practicality) in the form of four-door coupe. It comes with all those fancy feature: frameless windows, sleek proportion and elegant roof line (just like the traditional coupe), but with additional two door that makes rear seat passengers don’t need to disturb the passengers in the front during entry/out.

    But, maybe one thing that automakers didn’t predict very well: the cannibalization of two-door coupe by its four-door siblings.

    So no wonder four-door coupes are getting more and more popular, perhaps it could threaten the traditional saloons (whose more upright rear windows and less sophistication could be seen as less exciting) as well.

    As for convertible, it has its own charm and beauty. Driving a convertible on the scenic mountainous road or breezy beach road is fantastic. And the feeling of freedom under vast beautiful blue sky simply can’t be replaced by other form of body styles. Even with new kind of panoramic roof, that feeling of un-confined can’t be substituted.

    But again, it has its drawbacks. Convertible (except the big ones) can give rear passengers cramped feeling and very uncomfortable in long journey. We must admit that sedan is far more comfortable for all its occupants during interstate trips than its convertible counterpart.

    Convertible (especially with soft top) can be far noisier that its hard top counterparts. And when its top has to be tucked away in the trunk, it significantly decreases its capacity.

    And there is a serious issue with convertible: security. It’s by far the most vulnerable form of body style. In poor and developing countries in Asia or Southern America, driving a convertible can be very dangerous. Because it looks like you make an invitation for robbery. Even with its top closed, a soft top convertible is still not very safe because a criminal can still tear it with their knives. So, if you want to drive a convertible in those countries, just make sure you only drive it in very secure area. Otherwise, you just could make yourself and your beloved ones in jeopardy. (And that is, by the way, one thing I can’t understand about Mercedes-Maybach G-Class Landaulet.).

    The other serious issue with convertible is safety. During accident, a convertible is far more dangerous, and a flip can be fatal. That’s why not many people prefer this body style.

    So it’s quiet understandable that convertibles don’t sell very well in China and other developing countries.

    Maybe someday automaker can find brilliant solution for convertible. But until that solution is found, we have to stick with the current one.

  • xDRAN0x

    SUVs are keeping them 3 alive. Look at Porsche’s numbers for 2016 sales

  • Sukhoi31m3

    I don’t have a problem with this ; I’ll just look elsewhere, and probably for less $$$. Too many manufacturers making nice vehicles that are as reliable or more reliable than BMW or MB. Nowadays cars are a commodity, and nothing else.

  • Marwan Abdul Hak

    Well a redundancy is apparent in 3 cabriolets that serve the same purpose with the exception of s class coup cabriolet. I mean why not any of these are hard top convertible specially the E one ? I am worried this breed is dying and i am sticking now to my SLK hoping they won’t screw this also

  • Tumbi Mtika

    We don’t need a midsize coupe. BUT DON’T YOU DARE GET RID OF MY C CLASS AND 4 SERIES COUPES.

  • Jesse A. C. Majors

    It took all this time to realize that?

  • ScubaScuba

    To name some of the Mercedes that should be dropped (due to poor sales, not because of poor product): The SL, the SLC, the E-Coupe, the E Convertible. The S Coupe and S Convertible will likely stay IMO despite poor sales because of their halo effect

  • Six Thousand Times

    What a hellscape this world will be when there are only SUVs and no coupes. I’ll just join the opioid addicts and be done with it.