STRAIGHT FROM the rumour bin comes reports that Mercedes-Benz has decided, due to the global financial crisis, to delay the introduction of the E-Class convertible and wagon.
The move is reportedly aimed at reducing development and marketing costs as Mercedes, not unlike other manufacturers in responding to the current market, works at keeping its ledgers healthy.
The E-Class drop-top was set for debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year but, according to German car mag Auto Motor und Sport, will not be seen now until the Geneva Show in 2010.
The news is worse for wagon fans of the 'three-pointed star', with nothing expected until 2012. The apparently aggressively-styled E-Class Estate will reportedly be something to watch for, indicative of MB's new styling direction.
The cash saved from delaying both models should allow Mercedes to continue work on other projects.
The new CLS, the V6 Bluetec hybrid, and possibly a four-cylinder diesel replacement for the S-Class all stand as potential beneficiaries of the carmaker's freed-up development funds.