Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that it is one month away from making an official announcement that several of its passenger car models will change their names for the next generation.
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Speculation has been rife that the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class will swap its name to GLE-Class, while the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class not currently sold in Australia, but which will arrive here in its next generation, will be called GLC-Class.

“We will announce in November,” said Mercedes-Benz head of research and development and member of the board Dr Thomas Weber. “We will officially make this speculation more complete, which lies around we will see a new naming strategy across our car lines which, the idea behind it is to make it more clear for our customers in which segment we divide our vehicles.”

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class 4

That gives great weight to the rumours that the GLK-Class will be renamed GLC-Class (new generation spied here - and more here) because it is the SUV version of the C-Class, and likewise the ML-Class will move to GLE-Class as it is similar in size to the E-Class. It will fall into the same line as the A-Class-based SUV, the GLA-Class.

“This naming we used today, the real customer not really understand what is behind,” continued Weber, clearly pointing to the random line-up of SUV names that currently runs (from smallest to largest) GLA, GLK, ML, GL and G-Wagen.

Dr. Weber threw a spanner into the works, however, when he suggested that more than just SUVs may be up for a name-change in November, which will likely be made at the Los Angeles motor show of the same month.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class 9

“Yes of course I can confirm on the SUVs for example, but we are talking about all Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, not only SUVs.”

The new GLC-Class is only months away, and is expected in Australia late next year, while insiders have told CarAdvice that the design of the new GLE-Class due in 2016/17 is being fiercely debated - it will form a new design language for the brand, though radical proposals are being turned down in favour of more conservative options, as Benz looks to move away from a classically ML-Class look.

The GLE-Class will enter the line-up well after the launch of the new E-Class sedan and wagon early next year (with Australian models to follow late next year), which is expected to closely mimic the styling of the C-Class and S-Class.