Why Slow Sales Didn't Kill the Mercedes SL

Asia's Tech News Daily

Mercedes has just unveiled an all-new SL roadster. But the seventh generation of this icon—the longest-running nameplate from the longest-running automaker—enters a shifting marketplace. As recently as the early 2000s, Mercedes regularly sold around 13,000 SLs annually. Last year, just 1300 moved off dealer lots.

Why Slow Sales Didn't Kill the Mercedes SL
© Mercedes-AMG Despite a 90 percent drop in volume, Mercedes is rolling out a new SL. Here’s why.

So what happened, and why does Mercedes continue to bother?

Well, for one thing, trucks and crossovers have devoured the market share of every vehicle category. “Of course the SUV segment is the one making huge progress year over year,” says Michael Knoller, global head of marketing and sales for Mercedes-AMG, which developed the latest SL.

Mercedes’s own model proliferation has also had a cannibalizing effect. “When you look at the U.S. market, I think you have to include, in addition to the core segment, we’ve offered the S-class coupe and cabriolet, and the Mercedes-AMG GT roadster,” Knoller says. Two-door S-classes have been eliminated, and the GT will become even more of a purebred sports car, ideally leaving more room for the SL to fulfill its mission of patrolling the world’s Rodeo Drives.

The re-entry into the market of a viable former competitor, in the form of the Lexus LC, has also had an impact. “As far as sales, the LC is going to come in around 3000 units this year,” says Todd Blickenstaff, Lexus product marketing manager for the brand’s strenuously handsome luxury-sport coupe/convertible. “That’s up almost 35 percent from last year.”

Interestingly, certain EVs have also consumed a share in this lofty category. “When we look at those who most seriously considered a Mercedes SL and then see what they purchased instead, Tesla comes out as the number one brand,” says Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision, an automotive research and consulting firm. “Tesla has changed the way that those with lots of money think about performance and so, if someone is going to add a performance vehicle to their fleet, Tesla has come into the consideration set and bullied the others aside.”

So why exactly does Mercedes persevere? A good part of it is simply the marque’s ritualistic commitment to its heritage. “For us, it is important to have this SL in our product portfolio because, brand-wise, it’s one of the icons since the 1950s,” says Knoller. “Every decade there is an SL that reflects the lifestyle of the time period.”

But this decision is also predicated on servicing a particularly valuable consumer. “The SL customers are more loyal customers. So, it is not only marketing to keep an icon alive. But also to meet customer expectations to our portfolio,” says Knoller. He adds, “And the household income is quite high.” Edwards’s data backs this up. “For the SL specifically, [the buyers] are older men who earn more than most mere mortals,” he says.

Then there is simply the prestige of having a viable player in this field—particularly one that has been abdicated by other competitors. “A luxury coupe is really critical to a premium brand. It serves as a halo,” says Blickenstaff. “The visibility of a coupe is far greater than the market volume would suggest in part because the loyalty of coupe owners make them really effective brand ambassadors.”

Finally, as with all the best vehicles, the ownership decision is not entirely logical but driven by other, often more powerful forces. “There is the rational segmentation, seeing the SUVs increasing and taking higher market share. On the other hand, we have these special customers who really love to have this kind of roadster,” says Knoller. “They have these special moments in life where they just want to have fun with their friends. So, we need a special kind of car to be able to give them goosebumps in those moments.”

The stats back this up as well. “According to our 2021 Total Quality research study, the SL has a literal perfect score on delivering the emotional experience of fun,” says Edwards. “And you don’t get rid of perfection.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Joe Manchin slams Democrats' push to eliminate filibuster, calls it ‘easy way out'

Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin slammed his colleagues’ effort to alter or eliminate the filibuster in an attempt to pass sweeping election reform Wednesday, just hours before the Senate put ... Read more »

Emma Raducanu opens up on 12-hour training regime as she bids for Australian Open triumph

Emma Raducanu has opened up on her gruelling training regime in Melbourne as she eyes what would be a remarkable second Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open come next ... Read more »

How Two Florida Teens Cooked Up the Best Brunch Idea Since Mimosas

© Provided by Fodor’s St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the nation and home to more restaurants than you can count, was already flush with dining choices before COVID ... Read more »

Biden sees 'some progress' in Iran nuclear talks

© (photo credit: JPOST STAFF) Breaking news US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday there is progress being made in the Iran nuclear talks and now is not the time ... Read more »

Fine, let's shovel. But where are we supposed to put the snow?

After much of Ontario and Quebec got walloped by almost two feet of snow this week, life in major urban centres from Hamilton to Montreal came to a fluffy stop. ... Read more »

Kevin Nisbet integral to Hibs success says Shaun Maloney as he throws support behind striker

© Shaun Maloney has backed Kevin Nisbet to bounce back from his Celtic miss The forward missed a presentable chance in the opening exchanges of Monday’s 2-0 defeat by Celtic ... Read more »

Britney Spears labels sister Jamie Lynn Spears 'selfish brat' in fiery post

© Provided by Cover Media Britney Spears Britney Spears has hit out at Jamie Lynn Spears in another furious social media post. After the Sweet Magnolias actress recalled how she ... Read more »

Piers Corbyn charged after protest at Guy's Hospital vaccination clinic

© Victoria Jones Piers Corbyn (Victoria Jones/PA) Piers Corbyn has been charged with causing a nuisance at a vaccination clinic in London. The anti-vaxxer was arrested by Metropolitan Police officers ... Read more »

Brentford 1-3 Man United: Echoes of Solskjaer as individual quality see away side win

© Manchester United via Getty Images ManchesterUnited1901A Anthony Elanga and Mason Greenwood gave Manchester United a fairly undeserved win away at Brentford on Wednesday night. To their credit, United did ... Read more »

Pokémon Legends: Arceus leaks show potential special items for Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, and Arceus

© Provided by Dot Esports Pokémon Legends: Arceus is doing a lot to differentiate itself from other entries in the main series, including overhauling the battle system, removing held items, ... Read more »

Hidin' Biden's first year saw fewest press conferences in a generation

President Biden “provides short answers with few follow-ups when he takes questions.” Getty Images President Joe Biden promised us the most transparent administration in American history. Instead, the man who ... Read more »

The Bay fans all have the same complaint after spotting something very ‘off' about ITV series

THE Bay fans all have the same complaint after spotting something very “off” about the ITV series. Fans of the hit ITV murder mystery grumbled on Twitter after episode two, ... Read more »

New AI pancreas can help young children with type 1 diabetes

Scientists have developed an “artificial pancreas” that is helping protect very young children with type 1 diabetes. A trial of the device for children aged one to seven has found ... Read more »

Anthony Elanga explains why he loves working with Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United

Anthony Elanga admitted he ‘appreciates’ Ralf Rangnick ‘so much’ after Manchester United’s win against Brentford. Elanga, 19, opened the scoring on Wednesday night with some brilliant improvisation to head the ... Read more »

When Does Call of Duty: Vanguard Season 1 End?

Call of Duty: Vanguard Season 1 arrived on Dec. 8, introducing plenty of new content for Vanguard as well as Warzone. It’s unknown how many seasons we should expect to ... Read more »

What is the exact release time for Hitman 3 on Steam?

© Provided by GamePur Hitman 3 launches on Steam on January 20, bringing the game to an entirely new ecosystem after a year of exclusivity on the Epic Game Store. ... Read more »

Quality-of-life changes to move relearning and Move Tutor leaked for Pokémon Legends: Arceus

© Provided by Dot Esports Within the Pokémon series, players have historically been only able to relearn moves for their Pokémon from Move Tutors and only one at a time. ... Read more »

Jimmy Carr's life from being a virgin until he was 26 to all his surgery to keep him looking young

Jimmy Carr, 49, is known for his dark humour, controversy and fascination with the taboo when it comes to his comedy. It is no surprise then that he holds a ... Read more »

Robredo pushes for raising of age of sexual consent to 16 years old

© Jay Ganzon/OVP VP Leni Robredo visits Swab Cab in Antipolo City, Jan. 17, 2022. Photo by Jay Ganzon/OVP Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday pushed for legislation that would ... Read more »

This bottom-freezer refrigerator makes it easier to access the food I use most — it's the best upgrade I've made to my small kitchen

Prices are accurate at the time of publication. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. © Provided by INSIDER Hisense/Lowes Hisense’s Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators ... Read more »

Calgary Stampeders re-sign Canadian centre Sean McEwen to two-year deal

CALGARY — Sean McEwen is staying put. The Calgary Stampeders signed the veteran centre to a two-year contract extension Wednesday. The 2021 CFL all-star was scheduled to become a free ... Read more »

Video: Ciryl Gane: ‘I want to fight against Jon Jones' after beating Francis Ngannou at UFC 270

© Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC Ciryl Gane is laser focused on beating former teammate Francis Ngannou in the UFC 270 main event, but he can’t ignore the possibilities of ... Read more »

Holly Willoughby forgets Dancing On Ice drama by performing upside-down yoga move

HOLLY Willoughby floats like a butterfly — as she hangs upside down ­performing a yoga move. The Dancing on Ice host, 40, rose above the drama surrounding the show by ... Read more »

NGOs were unprepared to take on mental healthcare users, testifies former Gauteng health official

The former deputy director of the Gauteng Department of Health Mental Health Directorate, Hendricka Jacobus, was back on the stand on Wednesday at the inquest into the death of 144 ... Read more »

19-year-old Akshay Bhatia silences the critics, wins on Korn Ferry Tour in first start as a member

“Just because it hasn’t been done, doesn’t make it impossible.” © Provided by Golfweek That’s right, Akshay Bhatia, and now you’re a Korn Ferry Tour winner at 19. Bhatia turned ... Read more »

‘I probably shouldn't go any further': Biden gives frank description of what Putin really wants

Joe Biden has claimed he knows what Russian leader Vladimir Putin is seeking from the Ukraine crisis, before stopping short and declaring: “I probably shouldn’t go any further.” © Independent ... Read more »

Biden says his pandemic response is a 'job not yet finished,' touts his Build Back Better plan, and criticizes Republicans in first solo news conference of the year

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images U.S. President Joe Biden. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images President Joe Biden on Wednesday held his first solo press conference of the year. He acknowledged challenges his administration ... Read more »

Biden opens the door to getting 'big chunks' of his economic agenda over the finish line after Manchin shut down the $2 trillion spending bill

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images U.S. President Joe Biden. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Biden opened the door to making cuts to the centerpiece of his economic agenda. “It’s clear to me that ... Read more »

Biden says Putin will pay 'dear price' if he invades Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said he believes Vladimir Putin doesn’t want full blown war in Ukraine and would pay a “dear price” if he moves forward with a ... Read more »

Restrict stock trading, Nancy Pelosi and other commentary

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose husband is a venture capitalist, opposes major reforms to stock trading by members of Congress. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images From the left: Restrict Stock Trading, Nancy ... Read more »

Channel 4 Jimmy Carr I Literally Just Told You: Comedian's long-term girlfriend who 'thought he looked like a sex offender' and why he hasn't spoken to his dad for 21 years

Jimmy Carr is one of Britain’s best known comedians having starred in sold out stand-up tours, hosted the hit panel show Eight Out of 10 Cats, and now with his ... Read more »

Tyler Perry Explains Why He's Reviving Madea For Another Movie

© Provided by CinemaBlend Tyler Perry in Don’t Look Up It seemed like Tyler Perry’s time as Madea had ended after A Madea Family Funeral was released in 2019. Perry ... Read more »

S&P 500 Ends Lower as Tech Recovery Fades, Banks Slump

© Reuters S&P 500 Ends Lower as Tech Recovery Fades, Banks Slump By Yasin Ebrahim Investing.com – The S&P 500 fell Wednesday as tech stocks’ attempt to find a bottom ... Read more »

Skyguide braucht laut Finanzkontrolle wohl weitere Bundesmittel

© KEYSTONE/PETER SCHNEIDER Die Flugsicherung Skyguide könnte laut der Eidgenössischen Finanzkontrolle (EFK) auf weitere Bundeshilfen angewiesen sein. Einen Teil der wegen der Corona-Pandemie gesprochenen 500 Millionen Franken will Skyguide für ... Read more »

Top GOP lawmaker wants info on Hunter Biden's ties to cobalt mine sale in 2016

Rep. James Comer, a top House Oversight Committee member, demands to know Hunter Biden’s alleged role in the sale of a cobalt mine to Chinese firm Molybdenum in 2016. AP ... Read more »

Mekies: Teams will have ‘even less reference' in 2022

Formula 1 teams will have less of a reference point to each other in 2022, according to Ferrari race director Laurent Mekies. © PA Images Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and ... Read more »

Ford recalls 200,000 Mustang, Fusion and MKZ cars for brake light issue, rollaway risk

One Lincoln and two Ford vehicles are part of a new recall due to braking problems, according to documents the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published this week. The Ford ... Read more »

More Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo wagon models unveiled for Europe

Maybe more than any other automaker, Porsche is working hard to save the wagons . First up was the Panamera Sport Turismo that debuted in 2017, which has been a ... Read more »

Cost of living: Bank of England chief gives price rise warning but reassures MPs over interest rates

The Governor of the Bank of England has said he believes interest rates will not return to pre-financial-crisis levels after inflation hit a 30-year high of 5.4 per cent – ... Read more »

Corentin Moutet poses for mid-match selfie in Australian Open defeat

Getty Images Did a simple selfie derail Corentin Moutet’s Australian Open campaign? That’s what some appear to be speculating after the French athlete took a photo with a fan during ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic