Pres­tige punch-up

Mercedes hits back at BMW’S new 3 Se­ries with a C-class price cut

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

‘‘No one likes to pay Lux­ury Car Tax, and this way Wayne Swan does not have his hand in their pocket,’’ says Mercedes-benz Australia spokesman David Mccarthy.

‘‘Our po­si­tion on the LCT is well known. We do not be­lieve or ac­cept that any ve­hi­cle pur­chaser should pay LCT as it is a tax on tech­nol­ogy and safety. No other so-called lux­ury pur­chase is sub­ject to such a re­gres­sive, dis­crim­i­na­tory and in­equitable tax.’’

Not en­tirely co­in­ci­den­tally, the price cut was an­nounced this week as­bmwlaunched its M5 per­for­mance flag­ship. And the C-class’s di­rect com­peti­tor, the new 3 Se­ries, launches next Tues­day.

The C200 sedan now starts from $58,600, the C250 from $65,600, and wag­ons add $2000.

THEBMW equiv­a­lents, the 320i and 328i, are listed at $57,600 and $66,900. The wagon vari­ants are due later this year or early 2013.

Benz also be­lieves the un­pop­u­lar LCT, de­signed to tar­get true lux­ury cars, is hit­ting more fam­ily-fo­cused SUVS, as prices for the loaded wag­ons con­tinue to rise.

With their more wide­spread adop­tion of ef­fi­cient diesels, Euro­pean makes are do­ing a bet­ter job gen­er­ally of ben­e­fit­ing from the ef­fi­ciency tar­gets that win them an LCT dis­count. The new fuel fig­ures for the C-class he­roes are 6.8L/100km for 200 sedan and wagon, and 6.9 for the 250 sedan and wagon.

There are no other changes af­ter last year’s sig­nif­i­cant and suc­cess­ful up­grade made more than 1000 im­prove­ments to the mid-size Benz.

‘‘We have now made the en­try level of the C-class even more at­trac­tive, open­ing it up for more peo­ple. It’s all about the lux­ury car im­pact,’’ Mccarthy says.

The C200 leads the Blueef­fi­ciency push, but Benz be­lieves the bet­ter equipped C250 will win more buy­ers af­ter the lat­est change.

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