FRANKFURT, March 3 (Reuters) - 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 on Tuesday.
“We will review our current lineup and the idea is streamlining the portfolio,” Schaefer said in a conference call put on to replace a cancelled roundtable discussion at the Geneva car show.
Potential cost cut measures at Daimler include not only reducing the many different variations of car but also entire platforms and powertrains, Schaefer said.
“Yes we will have fewer platforms in future. The SL, I can confirm on a new platform,” 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 V12 to pass the gate.” (Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by David Evans)