Mercedes killing off nearly all of its V8 models in the US came as a shock when news broke about the decision last month. At the time, Mercedes pointed to global supply chain issues as the culprit, which seemed plausible. However, a new report from Road and Track muddles the situation as the publication has AMG boss Philipp Scheimer quoted as saying that the engines being cancelled is due to a “quality issue.”
Scheimer would not elaborate on the specifics, though he did say that Mercedes wasn’t satisfied with their quality and that it’s doing some retesting. But the issue doesn’t affect every model in every market, which further complicates understanding the reason behind the company’s decision. Potent V8 engines are a cornerstone to the brand’s pricey AMG performance brand, and pulling them from the US market where they’re popular came as a surprise.
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However, not every Mercedes V8 is disappearing from the US market next year as the V8-powered S580 will still be available. But another layer of confusion comes from Aston Martin, which uses Mercedes-supplied V8 engines. In August, the company told Road and Track that Mercedes’ stoppage would not affect the British brand’s products, which uses the German automaker’s 4.0-litre V8.
Road and Track is correct in that the likeliest explanation for the sales stoppage is a compliance issue. Mercedes’ original statement about the situation said that the company was focused on complying with “various global, external, and internal requirements.” That would explain why Mercedes is in the process of retesting, though we don’t know what that entails.
It’s a strange situation and one that Mercedes is not transparent about. Hopefully, the company gets the problem sorted so we can get a full explanation as to what has happened. Mercedes killing off nearly all of its V8 engines so suddenly and without warning still seems odd.