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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.

Copyright 2012

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.