• Mercedes bringing A-Class to US; heads further down market


    • Mercedes will add another sedan below the CLA.

    Mercedes has informed dealers that there will be another sedan heading their way for 2018.  Mercedes-Benz has decided the US is finally ready for the A-Class. Mercedes has previously shown the 2011 A-class concept in the U.S., but did not send that model over. 

    Currently, the smallest and least expensive Mercedes sold in the U.S. is the Mercedes-Benz CLA, a 4-door fastback sedan that Benz calls a 4-door coupe.  When the CLA originally debuted in the U.S. in 2013, it started at $29,900 before delivery charge.  It has since crept up to $32,700. This new A-Class is expected to start below the $30k mark.2017 Mercedes A-Class - European Spec

    Previously, the A-Class was only sold as a hatchback (2017 A-Class in European Spec shown right), a bodystyle not particularly popular in the U.S. The 2018 A-Class will be the first time the model is offered as a sedan. The A-Class will use the same front-wheel-drive platform as the current CLA and GLA and is expected to utilize similar powertrain arrangements. 

    The 2018 Mercedes Benz A-Class sedan is expected to go on sales in the U.S. in September of 2018 with sales in other markets (read: Europe) next spring and China to follow.

    Look for the A-Class reveal at one of the auto shows during Fall 2017.

    Source: Automotive news (Subscription Required)

     



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    Mercedes keeps topping themselves in exercises of the pointless.

    Do they have some sort of convoluted marketing research that is telling them a CLA is too large for some buyers, so another shorter model on the same dopey chassis is some sort of answer? The CLA already requires amputees-only in the rear seat, can't WAIT to read review of how utterly useless a shorter CLA is going to be. And looky-gee- the s-class coupe is going to share the same nose with yet a CHEAPER crapbox. But it's all OK because: SALESSALESSALESSALESSALES!

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    47 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Mercedes keeps topping themselves in exercises of the pointless.

    Do they have some sort of convoluted marketing research that is telling them a CLA is too large for some buyers, so another shorter model on the same dopey chassis is some sort of answer? The CLA already requires amputees-only in the rear seat, can't WAIT to read review of how utterly useless a shorter CLA is going to be. And looky-gee- the s-class coupe is going to share the same nose with yet a CHEAPER crapbox. But it's all OK because: SALESSALESSALESSALESSALES!

    Sorry for being philosophical but....when you are a kid you assume the world will be run by adults when you yourself become and adult.

    Mercedes may well sell a lot of cars, but I am not really convinced they are run by adults...this marketing decision kind of backs up that feeling IMHO.

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    An A-class sedan makes no sense unless it is to replace the CLA.   It would be selling 2 of the same model basically.  What they need to do is give us this:

    car_photo_526606.jpg?itok=edv0l8fF

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Why not? They make the Eclass and the CLS. 

    They don't really need the CLS, but at least at that price point they are getting a pretty good up charge over the E-class.  The new E-class coupe looks stunning and it is larger than the old one since it isn't on a C-class chassis anymore.  Maybe they'll do a V8 in the CLS550 since there is no E550 anymore, I don't know, but there are some ways they can make it different from the E-class.  And they do more volume on the E-class than they do on the CLA/GLA.

    The CLA and A-class sedan would be basically same size, same space, same power, similar body since the A-class sedan concept is sort of swoopy design anyway.  I'd rather see the hatchback to a 2nd sedan.

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    It does seem odd to do a 2nd sedan off the A-class platform, unless the distinction is that the CLA is the 4dr 'coupe' and the new sedan will be more sedanish--more upright and have framed door glass...

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    7 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    An A-class sedan makes no sense unless it is to replace the CLA.   It would be selling 2 of the same model basically.  What they need to do is give us this:

    car_photo_526606.jpg?itok=edv0l8fF

     

    Gotta agree, if they are they going to waste the time to send it over here, might as well be different.

    Not sure how well it is going to sell either way though.....

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    Benz really needs a marque below the main brand.  Keep SMART even... just expand it to an actual lineup of real cars that people will buy. Platform share with real benz if needed. 

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    I liked my sister's old Benzes, even though they were high mileage money pits.  When they were in good running order, they had a bank vault solidity about them..

    Of today's Benzes, the only ones I really like styling-wise are the CLS and AMG GT coupe. 

    Just now, Drew Dowdell said:

    Benz really needs a marque below the main brand.  Keep SMART even... just expand it to an actual lineup of real cars that people will buy. Platform share with real benz if needed. 

    Maybe they should buy the Chrysler brands from FCA---have the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and RAM brands below M-B...wait, they already tried that...

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    43 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Benz really needs a marque below the main brand.  Keep SMART even... just expand it to an actual lineup of real cars that people will buy. Platform share with real benz if needed. 

     

    I like this idea, but I don't know about using the SMART name. I don't think it's looked upon very favorably or has much equity.

    That said, I don't have any alternative ideas.

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    2 hours ago, Frisky Dingo said:

     

    I like this idea, but I don't know about using the SMART name. I don't think it's looked upon very favorably or has much equity.

    That said, I don't have any alternative ideas.

    I'm sure somewhere in the history of the company they have an old nameplate the can resurrect.  With SMART, there is no need for a new dealership network. No new logos.  Just an increase in inventory.  So few people know about SMART to care.

    That said, I'd also suggest they re-launch as an exclusively EV and Plug-in Hybrid brand ala Prius or Ionq, with no purely gasoline models at all. 

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    I'm not sure if they need another brand..they just need to bring more A-class and B-class variants to the US if they want to cover the entry level market.   Outside the US, they have long been a broad-spectrum car maker from A-class to S-class and beyond, and then they have the whole range of commercial truck and bus models...

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    2 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    I'm not sure if they need another brand..they just need to bring more A-class and B-class variants to the US if they want to cover the entry level market.   Outside the US, they have long been a broad-spectrum car maker from A-class to S-class and beyond, and then they have the whole range of commercial truck and bus models...

    Nouveau riche and pseudo riche Americans are a funny lot.  They don't mind if their aspirational brands come down to meet their already stretched wallets, but don't go any lower than that.  With this new A-Class, Mercedes is now playing in mid-range Civic and Altima territory.  Sure, both of those cars are larger, but for social climbers who only see the badge, that won't matter.  And that will mean that a bunch of hoi polloi are devaluing the brand when they should be driving Civics.

    It really should have been Benz who bought Opel, not PSA. 

    • Upvote 1

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    5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Benz really needs a marque below the main brand.  Keep SMART even... just expand it to an actual lineup of real cars that people will buy. Platform share with real benz if needed. 

    There could be money to be made if Smart expanded and used the A-class platform for a compact sedan and a CLA size sedan, but in the $18k and $23k range respectively.  I am sure they could get a 1.4 liter turbo off Renault for the motor, and they could do a little crossover, maybe some EV versions of those.

    I don't know if they really want to expand the range out that far though, or put money into that brand.  They are pretty busy with the Mercedes line as it is.  They are bringing the AMG GT sedan to the USA with possible 805 hp hybrid V8 powertrain.  Their future is really hybrid and electric rather than Smart brand.

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    7 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    There could be money to be made if Smart expanded and used the A-class platform for a compact sedan and a CLA size sedan, but in the $18k and $23k range respectively.  I am sure they could get a 1.4 liter turbo off Renault for the motor, and they could do a little crossover, maybe some EV versions of those.

    I don't know if they really want to expand the range out that far though, or put money into that brand.  They are pretty busy with the Mercedes line as it is.  They are bringing the AMG GT sedan to the USA with possible 805 hp hybrid V8 powertrain.  Their future is really hybrid and electric rather than Smart brand.

    That's assuming they could sell to the mouth breeding mouth breathing unwashed that pollute our highways with trash like the Sentra...not sure anyone ever built anything other than a trailer park or political party by aiming for the lowest possible point.

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    2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

     With this new A-Class, Mercedes is now playing in mid-range Civic and Altima territory.  Sure, both of those cars are larger, but for social climbers who only see the badge, that won't matter.  

    The current CLA starts at a higher price than a Maxima or Lacrosse, and loaded goes higher than either of them also.  The CLA starts $300 less than an Acura TLX (their middle sedan) and $1,250 less than an Infiniti Q50.  They are playing low for Mercedes, but above the non-lux brands top offering, and right in line with the mid-range Acura and Infiniti.  

    And there are some that will only see a badge, however if it was just a badge that mattered the CLA wouldn't get outsold by the C-class and E-class and I think even the S-class was close to outselling it last year.  And the GLC, GLE, and GLS all outsell the GLA.  

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    2 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    The current CLA starts at a higher price than a Maxima or Lacrosse, and loaded goes higher than either of them also.  The CLA starts $300 less than an Acura TLX (their middle sedan) and $1,250 less than an Infiniti Q50.  They are playing low for Mercedes, but above the non-lux brands top offering, and right in line with the mid-range Acura and Infiniti.  

    And there are some that will only see a badge, however if it was just a badge that mattered the CLA wouldn't get outsold by the C-class and E-class and I think even the S-class was close to outselling it last year.  And the GLC, GLE, and GLS all outsell the GLA.  

    Acura TLX is infinitely nicer...

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    4 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    That's assuming they could sell to the mouth breeding mouth breathing unwashed that pollute our highways with trash like the Sentra...not sure anyone ever built anything other than a trailer park or political party by aiming for the lowest possible point.

    Well as I said, I don't think they have any interest in main stream product.  They could do a main stream brand, but why bother.  They pouring money into electric cars, they don't need a distraction.  I think it is a waste of time to offer two 4-doors off the front drive platform, they should have a 4-door, a hatchback and a GLA and GLB crossover, because crossovers are what sell.  The GLB is supposed to look like the off roader concept they had a couple years ago.  

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    2 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Well as I said, I don't think they have any interest in main stream product.  They could do a main stream brand, but why bother.  They pouring money into electric cars, they don't need a distraction.  I think it is a waste of time to offer two 4-doors off the front drive platform, they should have a 4-door, a hatchback and a GLA and GLB crossover, because crossovers are what sell.  The GLB is supposed to look like the off roader concept they had a couple years ago.  

    Actually the GLB might be something I find appealing...

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    Remember when MB was meant to be aspired to here in the States, with the prices to match?  Ever since the CLA was released to us here, it is as if MB is trying to be GM or VW without the mainstream brands to pull off.  The obvious question is: why would MB whore itself out just for a few more measly sales?

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    MB's largest market by far is China, and China is still has the largest potential for growth, I believe. Remember- 1 out of 2 S-classes are sold in China- it's why the model is stylistically bland & stoic.

    The sales-focused MB wants to be at toyota-level sales numbers, and 'carpet bombing' every segment helps them get there. The A has been out in other markets prior to the U.S., but globally; if they have it they're going to stuff it in every market's catalog to boost numbers. So while there's absolutely no 'need' OR call for either the CLA or the A here, here they come.

    I don't know off hand what the low-end Chinese market does in numbers, but obviously Mercedes knows.

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