Mercedes-Benz will cut production of the S-Class in anticipation of the next-generation model, due to be unveiled in 2013. Sales have fallen by 27 percent in the past eight months, to just 5,227 cars. A variety of different factors have caused this including slow European and Chinese sales as well as the models age.

The Sindelfingen factory will now only run one shift until the next-generation model goes into production. Instead, the second shift will be moved to the C-Class production line.

We already saw a sneak preview of the new S-Class via the Aesthetics S sculpture unveiled at the Paris Motor Show earlier in the year. The S-Class will be one of the biggest releases next year. We expect to see an evolutionary design, packed with new technology. The chassis will feature a new modular rear-wheel drive architecture, a reengineered four-link front suspension and steel, aluminum, and magnesium body panels.

We’re told that seven different model variants will appear during the 2013 S-Class’ life span. These include a standard-wheelbase sedan (codenamed W222, 200.79 inches long) followed by a long-wheelbase sedan (V222, 7.08-inch stretch) and an extra-long-wheelbase sedan (X222, 13.78-inch stretch). The six-door Pullmann (25.59-inch stretch), the full-size CL-class replacement (C217, rumored to return to SLC moniker), the full-size CL convertible (A217), and a full-size four-door coupe (V217) are all new to the lineup of the top model.

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