While numerous media reports have been in the past saying that Mercedes-Benz could tap the highly lucrative subcompact segment, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche officially denies the fact.
According to Zetsche, the A Class compact model would remain – at least for now – the smallest Mercedes-Benz in production, while Europe’s highly lucrative under 20.000-euro sector could be further tapped by the Smart brand, in an attempt to bridge the gap between the future two-seat ForTwo microcar and the second-generation four-seat ForFour and the Mercedes line-up. The next ForFour should have a length of 3,5 meters, making it a competitor for premium minicars like the Fiat 500 and Opel Adam.
“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,” said Zetsche. “There is a possibility that Smart could expand into the subcompact segment, but we have not decided that yet.”
The Mercedes-Benz boss added that profitability was a big issue in the segment, especially with already established players like Audi’s A1 and the Mini range. Media reports said that Mercedes was planning to develop the new subcompact models with its Renault-Nissan partner and would have planned for global sales of 100,000 to 150,000 units per year.
Via Automotive News Europe