Mercedes-Benz is known as a luxury brand to U.S. consumers—one that symbolizes success. The chances are that when you think of a Mercedes images of lawyers, doctors and celebrities will come to mind. And why not, some of the Mercedes portfolio will take six figures in order for a consumer to see one sitting in their driveway. Of course, that is the extreme and Mercedes has been selling cars aimed at younger consumers for years in the States in the form of the C-Class—a competitor to the 3-Series BMW. The C-Class isn’t necessarily a “small” car though, especially not compared to the A- and B-Class models that have been sold in Europe for years. According to Mercedes headquarters in Stuttgart, that will change by the summer of 2013.
Reacting to what the automotive industry sees as a shift in consumers’ preferences in the U.S., Mercedes is looking to introduce their Mercedes Front-wheel-drive Architecture (MFA) to U.S. consumers. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Joachim Schmidt, Mercedes’ global sales and marketing, says, “We will introduce the next generation of our MFA family to the U.S. Two variants, maybe even a third, are planned for the U.S.” The two variants that are fairly sure are the compact coupe and SUV. The third variant might be a convertible or something to entice the younger consumers.
The coupe is planned to make its debut in the summer of 2013 and will have some familiar styling. According to Automotive News insiders are calling the new coupes styling a “baby CLS,” which indicates that it may be a coupe-styled four-door. The SUV will compete with the BMW X1. Current plans says that both of these new MFA variants will go on sale in Europe three to five months prior to their U.S. debut and will replace the current A- and B-Class cars on the market in Europe.
If you saw our U.S. Analysts story on the future of the small car market versus that of CUVs you might notice that the way automakers are moving is in contrary to their predictions. The difference? The analysts’ look toward the next year or two---manufactures have to look even farther ahead to tool up for consumer demand. Besides, consumers can’t buy what isn’t marketed to them.
[Source: Automotive News]