2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery
A few short weeks ago we posted a story regarding Mercedes-Benz and its decision to offer only hybrid models on the next generation S-Class, which is expected to debut in 2012. According to a report yesterday, no conventional S-Class will exist after the introduction of the next-gen model, and even AMG models will be hybridized. We were enthused that Mercedes made the decision to go all hybrid, but it turns out that several U.S. dealerships are not.
According to a report from Automotive News, many U.S. dealers are concerned with the public perception that hybrid vehicles are not strong performers. Luxury car buyers often by vehicles with big performance numbers and dealers are concern that the image of hybrids may sway buyers to look elsewhere. So far, only select dealers have been notified about the plan to go all hybrid. A meeting will be held later this week between dealers and Mercedes-Benz marketing chief Joachim Schmidt to discuss the changeover.
The main objection from dealers is that S-Class buyers simply don't care about fuel mileage, only about performance. While this may be true to an extent, the EPA and CAFE regulations could very well be the driving force behind the changeover to all hybrids for the luxo-sedan.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]