When Mercedes abruptly pulled the overwhelming majority of its V-8 fashions from the U.S. marketplace for the upcoming mannequin yr, it did one thing not simply weird within the conservative auto enterprise however unparalleled in any sector. It is definitely not typical for a big automaker with large manufacturing capability to shut the ordering books on its hottest and worthwhile merchandise—particularly when a lot of these fashions have not too long ago debuted. As for why, the corporate can not seem to get its story straight.
Reached for remark in August when the information first broke, a Mercedes-AMG spokesperson supplied the next fastidiously parsed assertion:
“The Firm’s prioritized focus to adjust to numerous world, exterior and inner necessities, in addition to a number of different elements, together with however not restricted to challenges within the provide chain, have an effect on the providing of the product portfolio in numerous markets.
• Mercedes-Benz is exploring each alternative to resolve the challenges at hand as quickly as potential.
• We will probably be working intently with our sellers and clients to assist alleviate any inconvenience ensuing from delays.
• We’re engaged on an answer as rapidly as potential.
• Relying in the marketplace, this issues completely different mannequin collection for mannequin yr 2022. Please perceive that we’ll not remark additional on this matter.”
Forward of the Munich IAA auto present, although, Street & Observe sat down with Mercedes’s head of the High Finish Automobile Group, Philipp Schiemer. Schiemer, who oversees Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach, and the G-class, stated that he could not present extra data than that information-light official assertion. Regardless of that, his response urged a unique cause than what we have heard to this point.
“I can not offer you extra particulars. It is a high quality subject. We’re updating our autos yearly, and we aren’t glad with the standard. And for us it is high quality first. So now we have to do some retesting and that is the method we’re in in the mean time. So it relies upon from mannequin to mannequin,” Schiemer stated, noting that the V-8 S580 remains to be being supplied within the U.S. “So it is from car to car, from nation to nation a unique type of scenario.”
Requested whether or not he may elaborate on the standard subject, Schiemer replied bluntly: “No.”
Regardless, a top quality subject can not absolutely clarify it. As a result of whereas that’d be a pure cause for an automaker to droop manufacturing, it doesn’t clarify why the corporate—as a spokesperson confirmed—is extending manufacturing of the 2021 G-class regardless of the 2022 G-class being off-menu. It additionally doesn’t clarify why Aston Martin, which makes use of Mercedes’s 4.0-liter V-8, has confirmed that it’s going to not be affected by this. And it definitely doesn’t clarify why this downside is completely different on a market-by-market foundation.
Provide-chain constraints are equally unable to clarify the totality of the difficulty, particularly on condition that this got here largely with out warning and the corporate remains to be supplying Aston Martin with V-8s. That leaves the compliance angle, alluded to within the official assertion and Schiemer’s feedback. Most engine adjustments require recertification by related authorities, that means that it may be a prolonged course of to get a car again on sale when there’s an surprising change. American authorities, particularly, have typically been gradual to certify autos normally and particularly German ones within the wake of wide-ranging emissions scandals. Which may be the probably clarification.
One lingering query stays, although. Why—if it is a bureaucratic holdup or a easy provide chain downside forcing recertification—is Mercedes being so opaque about it? We have reached out to the automaker for additional clarification and can replace after we hear again.
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