FRANKFURT -- Mercedes-Benz is embarking on a sweeping cost-cutting plan to free up cash to build electric and self-driving cars, a step which could see entire engine families and platforms eliminated, Daimler board member Markus Schaefer said.
"We will review our current lineup and the idea is streamlining the portfolio," Schaefer said on a conference call on Tuesday.
Potential cost-cutting measures at Daimler could see the company reducing the many variants of Mercedes' vehicles together with entire platforms and powertrains, Schaefer said.
"Yes we will have fewer platforms in future," Schaefer said in response to a question about whether Mercedes will build cars on fewer more flexible vehicle underpinnings.
Some products may get eliminated by tightening emissions standards, such as the introduction of so-called Euro 7 exhaust emissions standards.
"The question is how many engines you take through the gauge, through Euro 7," Schaefer said. "Of course the four-cylinder has more chance to make it than the V-12 to pass the gate."
Mercedes has already said it will end production of the slow-selling X-class pickup at the end of May.
The convertible and coupe versions of Mercedes' range-topping sedan, the S class, will be axed and the future of the B class is uncertain, according to the German business paper Handelsblatt.