On Monday I posted 2 pictures of a $130k Mercedes S-class I was driving that had blank buttons in the cabin. It got picked up but the front page and I immediately got flooded with comments of "oohhh look at you complaining about a $130k car" or "it makes sense because they're saving space for buttons on a higher trim car". Well then explain this...
What you're looking at below is the cabin of a base 2014 Cadillac ATS 2.5. The dealer is asking $35k for this particular vehicle.
In the red circle you see a large space, blanked out by a plate rather than buttons. Looking at it, you might not even think that there could be more buttons there.
Now this is also an ATS, but loaded and selling for at the same dealer for $50k.
Note the 2 buttons not present on the first model. It would have been way easier and cheaper for Cadillac just just to make one standard part with cutouts there and block them out on the base car, but they didn't. Why? Because it looks terrible and customers don't like it - especially customers that are buying luxury vehicles, even if they're the base models. And this isn't an exclusive to the ATS. I looked at a bunch of CTSs and XTSs to find similar solutions that go around needing blank buttons.
So if Cadillac can do it on $35-70k cars, there is no reason Mercedes can't do it on its $100k+ super luxury sedans.