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Posts Tagged ‘mercedes-benz A-class’

Zetsche Offers New Look at Next-Gen Mercedes-Benz CLA

Dr. Z puts on the camouflage.

by on May.17, 2017

Dr. Z grabs a selfie along with the slightly disguised, next-gen Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

Mercedes-Benz has a lot riding on the little CLA. The little sedan proved to be one of the biggest hits in the maker’s history when it made its debut four years ago. And with a new version in the works, we’ve been scrambling to get some idea of what it will look like.

We got our first hint at the Shanghai Motor Show last month when Mercedes rolled out the Concept A, a rather thinly disguised version of the next-gen A-Class model that shares its underpinnings with the CLA, GLA sport-ute and other compact Benz models.

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Now, we’re getting another look at this downsized family thanks to Dieter Zetsche, the mustachioed CEO of Daimler AG and head of the Mercedes brand, who, in words and pics and words posted on LinkedIn, is sharing his experience driving the new small car family.


Mercedes May Finally Bring Little A-Class to U.S.

New mini-lux model would roll out of new Mercedes plant in Mexico.

by on Sep.28, 2015

The Mercedes A-Class is one of five different models based on the small luxury platform.

The boardroom at Mercedes-Benz was wracked with turmoil when the German maker first considered adding a compact luxury car to its line-up. But the original Mercedes 190 was an instant success, and what is today known as the C-Class is one of the anchors of its line-up.

That meant far less debate when the company eventually decided to roll out a procession of even smaller models. If anything, the new CLA sedan and GLA crossover have become even bigger hits in the critical North American market.

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Until now, however, Mercedes hasn’t been willing to also let its pint-sized A-Class model make the trans-Atlantic jump. But it appears that this reluctance is starting to vanish and American motorists may soon find another downsized offering in Mercedes showrooms.


The Hottest Small Car We May Not Get

Mercedes pulls the wraps off A45 AMG.

by on Mar.08, 2013

No plans for the US - for now, anyway - the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG at its Geneva debut.

Take a close look.  Breathe deeply, then sigh.  Finally, start sending out those e-mails.  A deposit check might help, too.

For now, it seems, Mercedes-Benz has no plans to bring over its sporty new small car, the A-Class, including the high-performance version, the Mercedes A45 AMG that is drawing crowds at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Too bad.  The pint-sized luxury model is the latest incarnation of the Mercedes A-Class and a major shift in direction from the previous generation, abandoning the ungainly tall wagon approach for this more elegant shape that might almost be called a coupe-like wagon.

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Several more mainstream versions of the new A-Class recently went on sale in Europe, both gas and diesel powered. But the big news in Geneva was the unveiling of the AMG edition.  This is the luxury equivalent of the hot hatch.


Daimler Earnings Suffers as Euro Market Tumbles

German maker cuts full-year forecast.

by on Oct.25, 2012

CEO Dieter Zetsche, pop star Aloe Blacc and the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class wagon. Daimler is counting on the new small car to help reverse recent setbacks.

Daimler AG’s earnings dropped by more than 12% in the third quarter and the company expects earnings before interest and taxes to decline for the full year as the European auto slump takes its toll on the company.

The maker is now counting on new product, especially the next-generation A-Class, to help reverse recent declines. But analysts warn a turnaround could be several quarters away.

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“Considering the significantly more difficult market conditions, Daimler achieved good earnings results for the third quarter, said Dieter Zetsche, “Due to the economic challenges, Daimler will not match the high prior-year EBIT in full-year 2012, but will still post good earnings once again,” the Daimler Chairman and CEO emphasized.


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.”


Pop Star Aloe Blacc Helps Introduce Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Small is going to be big.

by on Mar.06, 2012

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, pop star Aloe Blacc and the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class wagon.

With pop star Aloe Blacc belting out “I Need a Dollar,” Mercedes-Benz officials took the wraps off the next-generation A-Class during their news conference at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

As Mercedes brand boss Dieter Zetsche acknowledged, it will take more than a dollar to park one in your driveway, but the maker hints that even with a wide range of new technology, it will be holding the line on the price of the A-Class when it comes to market later this year.

News from Geneva!

The smallest model in the Mercedes line-up will first roll into European showrooms then fan out to dealers around the world.  That will include the U.S. market for the first time, a senior Mercedes executive telling Americans will see the A-Class reach their shores by the end of 2013 or early 2014.


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.


Mercedes to Offer Four Different Versions of New A-Class Minicar

A U.S. launch in the works – but when is another matter.

by on Apr.20, 2011

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class Concept will be followed by four distinct body styles when the minicar goes into production.

After giving its new small car a Shanghai send-off, Mercedes-Benz rolled out a second version of its A-Class Concept for the New York Auto Show, today.  But what you see – at least in the U.S. – may not be what you get, a senior official confiding that the hatchback prototype is just one of four different body styles that will build off the subcompact luxury car platform.

The hatch Concept, shown in New York, will reappear with only minor changes, Mercedes officials noted, the most likely revision coming with the distinctive stud-like grille.

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Expect to see at least one of e four versions make it to the U.S. – the first time the A-Class will be offered here – Mercedes’ top American executive Ernst Lieb told  But the executive cautioned that the timing of the American introduction is far from set in stone.

The precise date “is pretty open,” said Lieb, though he quickly added that, “it will come.”  That could be several years after the planned 2012 debut of the redesigned A-Class in Europe.


Mercedes F800 and Concept Fascination Prototypes To Reappear as Next-Gen A-Class

All-new look to put smallest Benz in competition with A3 and VW Golf – and bring it to the U.S.

by on Jul.16, 2010

First shown in Paris in 2008, the Mercedes-Benz Concept Fascination will strongly influence the next-generation A-Class, especially the back half.

“Fascinating,” as Mr. Spock might say.  Fascination, we’d correct him.  Or, more precisely, the striking Concept Fascination prototype that drew admiring stares when it made its debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.

A somewhat less exotic version has already appeared in production, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe.  But it seems the show car’s influence is stretching into other designs, sources indicate.  A sort of coupe-wagon crossover, the Fascination strongly influenced another intriguing concept vehicle, this year’s Mercedes-Benz F800 Style.

Blend them together, and they will reappear as the next-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class, due to market roughly two years from now.

The original A-Class was the German maker’s first effort to target the emerging mini-luxury segment.  Short, narrow and tall, it was a bit ungainly, in part because it was conceived as a way to use a variety of different powertrains, possibly even electric drive, key components of which would be mounted below the vehicle’s load floor.

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Moving forward, Mercedes appears to be aiming for something a bit more conventional in overall design, but a replacement A-Class that, nonetheless, wins hearts, minds and pocketbooks with eye-catching good looks and plenty of features, say several company insiders.


Mercedes Will Double its A- and B-Class Line-Up

Sees growing demand for urban commuter cars

by on Apr.14, 2010

Mercedes-Benz will double the number of its offerings in the A- and B-Class segments.

Mercedes-Benz plans to double the number of vehicles it offers in the A- and B-Class segments by the end of 2011, Daimler AG chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche told the company’s shareholders.

“By the end of next year, we will offer four models in our current A-Class and B-Class segments instead of the previous two. Each of these models will demonstrate that a small Mercedes also can thrill customers,” Zetsche said as he spoke at the company’s annual meeting.

“We are very happy to have the A-and B-class class vehicles in the portfolio,” Zetsche said, adding they help Mercedes meet new regulations mandating substantial cuts in C02 emissions, which are forcing carmakers of all kinds to re-shape their product lines.

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The Daimler CEO stressed that unlike small cars of the past, the new models “will be profitable,” as well. That’s a significant issue in the luxury market, where buyers have traditionally equated size with worth.

“We will base all four successor models of the A-Class and B-Class on largely identical vehicle architecture, while simultaneously ensuring maximum product differentiation for our customers,” Zetsche said.