Mercedes Benz sells a greater percentage of its 4Matic all-wheel-drive models in the US than any other country. The company now wants to increase the popularity of its AWD range in other markets. In an interview with Automotive News, Mercedes' development chief for 4Matic cars, Gunter Fischer, stated that in 2007 4Matic vehicles will likely account for 20% of sales.

AWD is attracting "people who are coming out of SUVs and looking to get back into sedans but don't want to lose the security" offered by the drivetrain, added Mercedes spokeswoman Donna Boland. The new range of AWD systems weigh less than 200 pounds and only reduce fuel economy by about 1 to 2mpg.

In the US, Mercedes offers its 4Matic system on seven lines, with 18 models in total. Last year the company sold 98,252 AWD vehicles in the US, 39.6% of its U.S. sales volume.

The German luxury carmaker is now trying to increase its global sales of vehicles equipped with the 4Matic drive-line by offering more of these models into markets where previously only the RWD versions were sold.