FRANKFURT -- Daimler will cease production of its Mercedes-Benz SLC next year, citing a challenging market for compact two-seat roadsters as tastes shift towards sporty crossovers.
The news comes just as BMW will launch its rival Z4 in March, which it resurrected after three years, sharing platform development costs with the Toyota Supra.
European sales of the SLC fell 36 percent to 5,389 last year, according to figures from JATO Dynamics.
“There are no plans to build a successor model,” a spokesman said, adding customers will still be able to order the vehicle in the coming months as Mercedes will continue to build the SLC into next year.
The SLC started out life in 1996 as the SLK with its unique hardtop retractable roof that launched a trend and found copycats in smaller volume rivals like the Peugeot 206cc.
The current third generation, known as the R 172, launched in 2011. Mercedes changed its name in 2016 as part of a comprehensive change to its model nomenclature, using the term SLC to indicate its engineering DNA shared by the C-class.
In total, more than 710,000 units were built since 1996.
The luxury brand is celebrating with a Final Edition version with a sun yellow paint finish that starts at 41,537 euros in Germany.