Mercedes-Benz Wagons Might Not Be Around Much Longer

Recent comments from a Mercedes exec sound very ominous.

mercedes benz wagon
Mercedes-Benz

Several recent rumors have suggested Mercedes-Benz cutting vehicles from its lineup soon. Two-door coupe and cabriolet models are expected to be on the chopping block as Mercedes pivots to where buyers are — buying crossovers. And now it appears station wagons — long a Mercedes-Benz hallmark —may be under threat too.

The British website Autocar interviewed Mercedes-Benz COO Markus Schäfer at IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, where he would not commit to a long-term future for the wagon (or estate car as it is known across the pond) — even if building them in the EV era would be technically feasible.

"Estate cars, we have to see," Schäfer told Autocar. "This market is under pressure as more and more customers move to SUVs, and there are just a few markets left for estates and station wagons. So we have to see how the volumes are developing. They’re technically absolutely possible – that wouldn’t be a problem – but it’s more a question of how this niche is developing."

As sad as the prospect may be, Mercedes-Benz dropping wagons — especially in America — shouldn't surprise anyone. The wagon market is all but dead due to poor sales: Volkswagen already killed off its wagons; Volvo is culling most of its pure, road-going wagons this year. The few wagons remaining are quasi-off-road models like the new E-Class All-Terrain or pricey high-performance specials like the Audi RS6 Avant. There isn't really a practical argument for keeping them.

That said, there could be a silver lining for Mercedes-Benz wagons. Autocar notes from sources that the cars that supplant wagons in the lineup in the EV era will be "increasingly efficient SUVs" that are more aerodynamic and ride lower than current combustion SUVs. It's conceivable that those vehicles could act and look like a lot like wagons, even if they're called something different.

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