Mercedes SLC Might Not Get A Replacement – And China Is To Blame

The Mercedes SLC might not get replaced at all, with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche saying that a new model is far from certain.

Zetsche told Autocar that the market is shifting and so is the company’s model range. “These speciality cars have lost their share in our total portfolio,” he said. “For a particularly long time, China has led growth, and China shows little interest in cars such as these.

“Our portfolio is not something defined for eternity. We revisit constantly, and that’s what we’re doing. Any decisions we will communicate in the future.”

Mercedes development boss -and future Daimler CEO– Ola Källenius also said that the brand is looking to make changes to model range in the coming years, without referring specifically to the SLC.

“We’ve has 20-plus years of uninterrupted broadening of the portfolio,” he said. “In 2022, we’ll have 40-plus models. Even if we love every child – and we do – we’ll be rational. We will not hesitate to slim down if we look at the economics. We will look at the next 10 years and cater to where the market is going.”

Slimming down the model range doesn’t necessarily mean that Mercedes won’t explore yet more niches. “We won’t rule out creativity,” Källenius said.

This isn’t the first time we hear about a possible demise of the SLC, as AMG boss Tobias Moers also said last May that the future of the two-seater roadster is “under discussion”. Unlike the SLC, Mercedes is keen on replacing the bigger SL, which is going to be “a real wow car, a stunning car” according to Zetsche once it arrives in 2021.

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  • Kash

    Mercedes just removed the SL65 from their US website as well as the AMG site…

    • Matt

      That’s more to do with retiring the V12 engine.

      • Kash

        Wasn’t saying it to infer that they’re killing the SL, I just posted my comment on the most recent Merc story on this site, which just so happened to be this one. Honestly it’s kind of a weird coincidence.

  • charlotteharry57

    Big deal. They have too many models anyway.

  • Haywood Jablowme

    I am beating off all over the place.

  • BMW IS MAKING A BIG DEAL ABOUT IT’S NEW ROADSTER WHICH IS THE SAME SIZE AS THIS. SOMEONE MUST BE INTERESTED.

    • Matt

      BMW only made a new Z4 because they could effectively halve the investment by working with Toyota. Had they not found a partner I doubt a new Z4 would exist.

    • Able

      The new Z4 is actually a lot bigger than the previous model and like the below commenter said, they had Toyota to help develop the platform with and share costs. The SLC wiuld likely require a fairly unique platform (or at least version of a platform used by other Mercs) and that would cost a lot. Convertibles are tougher in today’s market – do you build an inexpensive fun roadster like the MX-5, a higher performance roadster like the Z4 M40i or a four-seat cruiser like an Audi A5?

      • Greg Richards

        Audi A3 and Audi A5 convertibles are being scrapped for a new Audi A4 convertible as neither model is selling great.

  • But aren’t SLC buyers aren’t traditionally in China? Maybe they need to check current gen and compare it to their competitors to know why.

  • Six_Tymes

    it doesn’t sell well anyway, put it to rest

  • Companies will soon regret their China-centric focus.

  • Cobrajet

    If there is little demand from here, what difference would China make.

  • driv3r

    Why is China “to blame”? China is the worlds biggest market for automobiles. China has a heavy air pollution problem. I guess everybody can now figure why convertibles and roadsters aren’t popular in China. Secondly any manufacturer would put themselves off the game if they ignored the Chinese taste since for good economies of scale they need the Chinese market since any competitor will do the same.
    The specialty cars of the 80ies and 90ies were coupés and roadsters, now the popular specialty cars are SUVs and 4-door coupés. Thats just the taste of the time.
    Still anybody can be happy that Mercedes offers a broad range of coupés and convertibles if compared to Audi and BMW which offer way less (and even less successfully) top-down cars.
    Personally would pick a C-Class Cabriolet over a SLC anytime so no drama if they would phase out the SLC (and may let it have a revival as an AMG GT compact roadster).

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