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Posts Tagged ‘Infiniti ETHEREA’

Mercedes Seeks Help Meeting Strong Demand for New A-Class

Germans turn to Finnish maker Valmet to boost capacity.

by on Jul.24, 2012

Mercedes doesn't expect to be able to meet demand for the new A-Class on its own.

For the first time since its 1997 introduction Mercedes-Benz plans to sell its smallest model, the A-Class in the U.S. – and to help meet anticipated global demand the luxury maker is turning to a partner to help boost capacity.

Finnish specialty company Valmet Automotive has agreed to produce an extra 100,000 A-Class models between 2013 and 2016, Mercedes confirmed today, as a result of the “very positive resonance” for the all-new version of the subcompact.

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“Our new compacts are so popular with our customers that the Rastatt and Kecskemét plants are completely utilized,” explained Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, the Mercedes board member overseeing production.  “We thus signed Valmet as an experienced production specialist who will provide us with additional A-Class capacities as of 2013.”


Next Infiniti G-Cars to Share Mercedes Platform

But Mercedes will use Nissan/Infiniti engines.

by on Apr.18, 2012

A future version of Infiniti G IPL could deliver as much as 530 horsepower.

The already torrid relationship between Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance continues to heat up.  Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand is now expected to provide the underpinnings for the Euro-Asian alliance’s next-generation Infiniti G cars.

According to new reports, Infiniti will share the same platform as the next-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The new model will be slightly larger than the current Infiniti G, and will be offered with more body and powertrain variations.

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That is expected to include a coupe and a sedan, while powertrain options are likely to offer buyers a hybrid, possibly a diesel, and even a 530-horsepower V-6, according to a report in Motor Trend magazine quoting Japanese sources.


First Look: Mercedes’ Downsized Coupe-Like CSC Sedan Concept

Beijing’s CSC Concept will be America’s new CLA.

by on Apr.18, 2012

We'll get a closer look at the CLA Concept next week in Beijing.

Can we buy a vowel, Vanna?  Okay, so that means the CSC Concept will soon reappear as the CLA.  Got that straight?  No?

We’re not surprised.  The once easy to remember Mercedes-Benz alphanumeric line-up has grown increasingly complex, over the years, as the maker keeps filling more and more luxury niches.  And it will become yet more confusing come the press days at next week’s Beijing Motor Show, when we get our first look at what is being referred to as the Mercedes Concept Style Coupe, or CSC.

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In fact, the images here will herald the coming of what will be dubbed the CLA when it actually rolls into showrooms in the very near future.

Clear yet?  Okay, here’s more: The German automaker scored an absolute out-of-the-park home run with the launch of the original CLS, it’s “Coupe-Like Sedan.” The sweeping shape has influenced virtually everyone in the auto industry, from rivals like BMW, with the new 6-Series Gran Coupe, to Hyundai, with its coupe-like Sonata.


Mercedes Expecting to Join Nissan in New Mexican Assembly Complex

Next step in partnership would produce Mercedes and Infiniti models for the Americas.

by on Jan.26, 2012

Mercedes-Benz revealed this early A-Class Concept at the 2011 NY Auto Show.

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Nissan and Daimler are looking to take a significant step forward in their rapidly expanding partnership – the German maker expecting to set up a new plant that would be located adjacent to the new Nissan assembly complex going into Aguascalientes, Mexico, has learned.

The Daimler plant would be used to produce a wide range of small luxury products for both the German maker’s Mercedes-Benz brand and for Nissan’s Infiniti division, such as the Mercedes A-Class and Infiniti Etherea  – sources telling that these could include both conventionally powered and electrified offerings designed to help both makers improve their corporate fuel economy averages.

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Officially, neither Daimler nor the Renault/Nissan Alliance would discuss the plan, though a spokesperson for the German company referred to a recent comment by CEO Dieter Zetsche in which he confirmed that further joint ventures are under study.  The two makers decided to launch a limited series of efforts in 2010 and have since announced several additional joint ventures including one revealed early this month in which they will produce a new line of four-cylinder engines at the Nissan powertrain plant in Decherd, Tennessee.


Daimler Planning New North American Plant

Maker looking at options in U.S. and Mexico.

by on Jan.25, 2012

The new Mercedes plant would likely produce a version of the next-gen A-Class - and possibly the Infiniti Etherea, as well.

Hoping to gain a leg up on its luxury market rivals, Daimler AG is looking at adding at least two more plants to its global production network – one in China and the other some place in North America.

The new plants could be a critical step in regaining the global sales lead as Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand battles key rivals BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi brand.  Mercedes narrowly lost the U.S. sales crown to the Bavarians in 2011.

Mercedes officials told Germany’s Manager Magazin the plan is to double the brand’s worldwide output to 2.7 million by 2020.  It sold 1.26 million Mercedes-badged vehicles in 2011, about 120,000 less than BMW. Significantly, the publication said Daimler is aiming for a 10% operating margin by the end of this decade.

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One of the questions is hoping to resolve is what role Nissan will play in the selection and operation of a new Mercedes plant in North America.  Could Daimler be looking at adding production capacity of its own alongside a new Nissan facility newly announced for Mexico?


Mercedes offers a Tease of Next-Gen A-Class

Will Americans accept a pocket-sized Benz?

by on Jan.24, 2012

Mercedes expects to produce as many as four variants of the next-gen A-Class.

Luxury cars have traditional been measured by the inch and pound.  But times are changing – at least in most parts of the world.  But it remains to be seen whether U.S. buyers will embrace the pint-sized Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the smallest model ever developed by the German luxury giant.

Downsized luxury cars, such as the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series, haven’t exactly been hits with traditional buyers.  But, as this teaser image – (and a 56-second preview you can check out on You.Tube) – suggests, Mercedes isn’t going after the same customer who would opt for an S-, E- or even a C-Class.

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To underscore its focus on the tech-savvy Gen-X and Millennial customers just entering the luxury market in serious numbers, Mercedes has bathed the prototype shown her in QR codes, the more advanced version of barcodes, which can be used to find out more about the third-generation A-Class.


Nissan, Daimler to Jointly Build Engines in U.S.

"We share the office, not the bed."

by on Jan.09, 2012

Daimler Chief Dieter Zetsche (l), with Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.

The rapidly expanding partnership between Germany’s Daimler AG and the Euro-Asian Renault-Nissan Alliance will take another step forward when the partners begin production of a new line of 4-cylinder engines in the U.S. in 2014.

Nissan’s current powertrain plant, in Decherd, Tennessee will eventually be capable of producing as many as 250,000 engines annually for use in both Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti models.  That factory, opened in 1997, already produces a mix of 4-, 6- and 8-cylinder engines for both the flagship Nissan and high-line Infiniti brands.

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The decision to jointly produce engines in Decherd is the latest expansion of the Daimler/Nissan/Renault partnership initiated almost two years ago, and suggests that there may be further projects to come. When asked whether that might lead to a full-scale merger, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said no, insisting the step-by-step strategy makes more sense for the three makers.

“We share the office and not the bed, and that works perfectly well,” Zetsche explained during a preview of the Detroit Auto Show.


First Look: 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Small cars are big in luxury.

by on Sep.15, 2011

Mercedes-Benz is betting the new version of its B-Class will help it gain ground in the market for small luxury cars.

Small cars are big these days, as the posters for the Frankfurt Motor Show declare.  And while that’s probably no surprise among mainstream brands like Volkswagen, which focused much of its news conference on the micro-sized Up! line, even luxury makers are getting into the downsizing game.

This year’s big European auto show brings out a variety of models designed to show that luxury doesn’t have to be measured by the pounds and inches – er, kilograms and meters – though many of the offerings on display, such as the Audi A2, are glimpses of products yet to come.  Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, says the time is now with the remake of its compact B-Class people-mover.

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Adopting an all-new chassis and a significantly refined look, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class is one of roughly a half-dozen new small car models the German luxury icon is planning to bring to market in the next year or so.

The B-Car will start rolling into showrooms by autumn, in fact.  And Mercedes will have a lot riding on it as the maker’s earlier take on the compact luxury class generated only moderate sales, at best when compared to rivals like BMW and Audi.


Mercedes Will Provide Platform for New Infiniti Luxury Car

Daimler ramps up increasingly successful partnership with Renault-Nissan alliance.

by on Sep.14, 2011

Infiniti will use a Mercedes-Benz platform when it goes to production with a compact luxury car based on the striking Etherea concept vehicle.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz B-Class platform will be shared with Infiniti which plans to use it as the foundation for a compact luxury offering based on the popular Etherea concept car.

That’s the latest move to emerge from a rapidly expanding alliance between Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG and erstwhile rivals Nissan and Renault, which have made a successful go of their own Euro-Asian alliance.

In an unusual joint appearance, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Renault-Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn provided an update on their 18-month-old strategic partnership and gave a sense of where they hope to go next.

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The three companies will soon begin sharing powertrains, as well as an assortment of vehicle platforms.   But among other things, they are looking at the possibility of pooling efforts on the development of zero-emissions vehicles, the two CEOs suggested.

“We probably haven’t seen as much change in our industry in decades as we have to face now,” said Zetsche in explaining why Daimler, Nissan and Renault have chosen to work together.  So, he added, “By doing (things) together in certain areas we will get even stronger.”

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and his Nissan-Renault counterpart Carlos Ghosn during a Frankfurt Motor Show news conference.


Small Infiniti Concept Set for Geneva Debut

Difficult to categorize ETHEREA could portend a new entry-level luxury car.

by on Feb.15, 2011

Infiniti's ETHEREA concept will debut at the Geneva Auto Show.Infiniti has released images of a small concept that seems to defy categorization. The concept will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March.

Infiniti’s ETHEREA concept is fairly small – just barely longer than a Nissan Versa – and has elements of a sedan, hatchback and crossover. The automaker says its profile is “distinctly different from anything else in the premium compact class.” Actually, there’s nothing on the road period with a shape like the ETHEREA.


“ETHEREA is about a new type of luxury for younger buyers,” said Toru Saito, corporate vice president and leader of the Global Infiniti Business Unit. “It is not just a smaller version of a typically conservative and traditional luxury car.”