Mercedes-Benz Won't Follow BMW and Audi With Subcompacts

By Matthew Askari | May 20, 2014
Mercedes-Benz head Dr. Dieter Zetsche said the luxury German automaker will not make a car smaller than the A-Class--sold in Europe--or the CLA250 and GLA250 compact sedan and compact SUV. All three models share the same architecture, along with the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive that we recently tested. Currently, the CLA250 and performance version--the CLA45 AMG--are on sale in the U.S., with all but the A-Class slated to follow.
"We had a long debate about whether we should expand Mercedes into the B [subcompact] segment and we decided this is not going to happen," he told Automotive News last week at a recent media event. "There is a possibility that Smart could expand into the subcompact segment, but have not decided that yet."
Zetsche is CEO of Daimler, the parent company of both Mercedes-Benz and Smart. Mercedes-Benz competitor Audi currently makes the A1, and BMW, parent of Mini, makes the Mini Cooper. Zetsche said it would be difficult to make a profitable subcompact under the Mercedes-Benz brand, but suggested that Smart--which is slated to introduce a new ForFour model--could make a larger car that would be along the lines of the Mini Cooper and A1. The Audi A1 is not currently sold in the U.S. either. Source: Automotive News (subscription may be required)