Small is big in Mercedes-Benz’s plans

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS -

MERCEDES-BENZ may add more vari­ants to its fu­ture A-and B-class model lines, a top ex­ec­u­tive said.

“We’ve got some more ideas – for ex­am­ple, a three-door ver­sion of the A-class, a con­vert­ible or a shoot­ing­brake,” said Mercedes-Benz sales and mar­ket­ing head Joachim Sch­midt.

No de­ci­sion has been made yet, ac­cord­ing to Sch­midt. The com­pany has said that the next-gen­er­a­tion A-and B-class com­pact hatch­backs will be joined by an SUV and coupé-styled four-door.

All four de­riv­a­tives will be un­der­pinned by a new ar­chi­tec­ture that Mercedes has de­vel­oped for its fast­grow­ing com­pact line-up.

Mercedes needs to add small cars to meet tighter EU emis­sions stan­dards and keep pace with BMW and Audi in sales.

The sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion B-class will be first of the new com­pacts. It will ar­rive in deal­er­ships in late 2011.

The new ar­chi­tec­ture might be used by Nis­san’s In­finiti for its planned en­try-pre­mium ri­val to the Audi A3 and BMW 1 se­ries. It is one pos­si­ble re­sult of the al­liance be­tween Daim­ler, Nis­san and Re­nault.

Said Sch­midt: “Yes, dis­cus­sions (with Re­naultNis­san) about bas­ing an en­try-level In­finiti on our com­pact car plat­form are still pro­ceed­ing.”

The part­ners will de­cide this sum­mer whether In­finiti will use the ar­chi­tec­ture.

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