Dwindling demand in Europe has led Mercedes-Benz to pare down output of its full-size S-Class sedan. Beginning in November, production of the opulent four-door in Sindelfingen, Germany, will be cut from two shifts down to one until the new S-Class arrives next summer.
The move, which will see affected workers shifted to the C-Class assembly line, will cut S-Class production to 8,000 units for the fourth quarter, according to a Reuters report. In Europe, sales of the highly profitable sedan were down 27 percent through the first eight months of the year.
The news comes as the latest in a serious of events that signal that luxury automakers, at first relatively unaffected by the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, are beginning to see demand slip in the region.
Last month, slow European sales led Audi to idle its Neckarsulm, Germany, plant for one week to trim inventory levels, while BMW decided yesterday to re-allocate production of "tens of thousands" of new models from Europe to the United States and Asia. Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz elected to revise its annual profit forecast downward based on the weakening new car market in Europe and China.
New car deliveries in Europe fell by 11 percent in September, putting the region's auto sales on track for the greatest one-year decrease in 19 years.