The European Union’s new fuel emissions penalties are about to go into full effect, and that will likely force some tough decisions over at Mercedes. The Financial Times (paywalled) is reporting that Mercedes must close a significant gap between its current emissions of 138 g/kg and the average required next year: 100.
The FT says this may well lead to a substantial production cutback in Mercedes’ high-performance (and more-polluting) AMG models. Dealers expect the availability of some models to reduce by 75 percent.
But selling fewer AMG models could pack quite a sting for Mercedes. Those cars have become trendy, and a source of substantial profits. Mercedes-AMG has expanded its lineup to 34 vehicles in the United States — with more planned. The only other real option would be to incorporate a more efficient manufacturer into Mercedes’s EU fleet, much like the way FCA struck a deal with Tesla.
The U.S. market does not have the same stringent emissions standards, but American buyers are already seeing the effects of this shift in Europe. Mercedes-AMG has been steadily reducing engine sizes and introducing mild hybrids in vehicles like the 53 series cars. The V12s are already being phased out, and the new 421-hp M139 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine may lead to the V8 engines getting killed off in the next generations as well.
If you’re sweating the future of the G-Wagen, though, don’t. Daimler’s CEO affirmed Mercedes’ commitment to the G-Class for the longterm…though the noted fuel consumer is probably going to go electric.