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Mercedes-Benz Considering Bringing Small Cars To U.S. By 2012

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The trend towards smaller and more fuel efficient cars has caused Daimler to reconsider importing the next-generation of its compact cars to the U.S., with the CEO of the company, Dieter Zetsche, stating earlier this year that such a move is likely given the current market conditions.

Executives previously reversed a decision to bring the current Mercedes-Benz B-Class across the Atlantic because of fears it would damage the luxury brand’s exclusivity and the low dollar exchange rate would make it too expensive.

However, unexpectedly strong sales of the Smart Fortwo minicar are prompting renewed interest in selling the next-generation of the A- and B-Class in the U.S., but two major hindrances remaining to the decision include exchange rates and pricing--though the company hopes the new cars will be able to overcome these with lower costs.

Under a new plan, revealed to the Wall Street Journal by Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes would import by 2012 at least one of four new compact cars currently in the works. It would be targeted at cars like the Audi A3, BMW 1-Series and the Mini Cooper.

Adding a few gas-sipping compacts to its U.S. lineup could be a good move for Mercedes. New emissions and efficiency regulations will be implemented soon, and some fuel-efficient vehicles would help Mercedes’ fleet meet the EPA's stringent standards. Also, the new models could address the shifting needs of Mercedes buyers, since, according to Zetsche, the definition of "luxury" is slowly changing: "It will be fewer CO2 emissions and more modesty in appearance."

Pictured above is Mercedes’ BlueZero trio of concept cars that were unveiled earlier this year and are said to preview the styling direction of the new A- and B-Class models.

[Wall Street Journal]

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Comments (10)
  1. "Executives previously reversed a decision to bring the current Mercedes-Benz B-Class across the Atlantic..."
    Um - It's already sold in North America.
    The B-Class has been available in Canada since 2005.
     
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  2. But Canada doesn't count... Remember... We have every car in the Merc lineup except the GLK (which is useless anyway) in Australia and I find it astounding that it's not the same situation in the US. We get every BMW, Audi etc (in most engines etc) and yet one of the biggest markets in the world doesn't??
     
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  3. A start would be the unextended S Class. just saying
     
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  4. I wish there was more talk about this topic on the redesigned A-class and B-class variants coming to the States because otherwise Mercedes-Benz will not consider it. I think we need these cars here and they would be successful. Realistically if they’re priced under at least $32,000 they will sell. I am very much looking forward to seeing these cars here. If they make it I’ll be first in line to buy two different models. This especially holds true if the models that have been mentioned make it to production. Come on, lets petition and poll or whatever for we demand to see these new models in the U.S.!!!!
     
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  5. A hobby horse that I've ridden regarding the A&B Class MB is they should come to the US badged as Smarts. Thereby avoiding the dreaded brand erosion.
    But before Dieter starts filling freighters with small MBs he needs to look at the tanking of Smart sales in the US.
     
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  6. Smaller cars are less safe than larger cars.
    I have invented a way to make small cars safer in collisions. Please help me promote the idea.
    I can save lives.
    www.safersmallcars.com
     
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  7. I meant to type "it can save lives."
     
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  8. these new Mercedes car really looks awesome!
     
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  9. Hi Guy's,
    Awesome looks.I really like this all the model of Mercedes...
     
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  10. The biggest issue with selling the A/B class as Smarts would be the price. A Smart (in Australia) is $20K, the A class starts at almost double that ($36K). If Merc are marketing the Smart brand as an affordable, economical yet very technologically advanced Merc (as they have here) then they add a premium car to the small range that could be worse for the brand than just sticking it in with the Merc badge, which has a bigger following etc.
    I think it's a market that Merc need to hurry up and get into in the US. Having these tiny European supercharged, extra super turbo sort of engines that the US haven't yet invested in provides the perfect opportunity, as do new sporty models...
     
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