Under the microscope: The success story: "The bestselling SUV from Mercedes-Benz for ten years“
Five questions for Michael Christof, Product Management GLC.
How many GLC models has Mercedes-Benz sold to date?
Christof: Since the market launch in 2008, more than 1.5 million units of the GLK and its even more popular successor, the GLC, have been sold. Over the past ten years, the GLK and GLC have been the bestselling Mercedes-Benz SUVs. In 2018, i.e. in the year before the model facelift, the GLC and GLC Coupé even set up a new worldwide unit sales record with well over 400,000 (increase of just under 20%) units sold.
In your view, what are the reasons for this success?
Firstly, the segment is booming: at present one in three Mercedes-Benz cars sold is an SUV. In 2018, with more than 820,000 units sold, the SUVs were the strongest segment for Mercedes-Benz. Never before have more units of the GLA, GLC, GLC Coupé, GLE, GLE Coupé, GLS and G-Class been delivered to customers. And secondly, the concept of the GLC and GLC Coupé is very popular with customers: compact dimensions, the modern luxury typical of our brand and a high level of safety combined with excellent on-road and off-road characteristics.
Plus a wide choice of engine variants and appointments. For example, the optional multi-chamber air suspension was a USP in this segment for a long time, and with the GLC F-CELL we even offer a fuel cell plug-in hybrid model …
Precisely. And we are set to increase the number of engine variants soon after the market launch. What's more, I can already disclose today that we will present a new plug-in hybrid in the summer of 2019.
What part does the GLC Coupé play in this success story? How is it positioned compared to the SUV?
The GLC Coupé is the sports car among mid-size SUVs - a vehicle for individualists who attach great importance to an extraordinary appearance, maximum variability and trailblazing technology.
At the end of April, at the Auto Shanghai show, Mercedes-Benz presented a further SUV idea with the seven-seater Concept GLB. Would a GLB not come very close to the GLC?
No, as the Concept GLB is based on our compact car platform. Though we did actually ask ourselves whether there is room between the GLA and GLC in our successful SUV portfolio. And the Concept GLB is the first part of the answer.