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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 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.