Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, overtaken by Volkswagen AG’s Audi in luxury-car sales this year, is pepping up its lineup of small cars with cameras, radars and Web access to give younger buyers the feel of the S-class flagship.
The redesigned B-Class will be available with safety and entertainment gadgets, such as a radar-controlled collision prevention system and in-car Internet, when it goes on sale this year, said Hans Engel, chief engineer for the B-Class.
The move, according to the carmaker, is part of its plan to roll out 1.5 million units by 2015, coming from its present delivery target of 1.3 million units this year.
This will be supported by the new and refurbished Mercedes facilities in both Hungary and Germany, and will be costing the company some $2 billion as additional investments.
“You will immediately know that these cars are from Mercedes,” Hans Engel, the chief engineer of the B-Class range, told Automotive News Europe. “They will have lots of technology that wasn’t available in this segment before.”
But pricing may also be a factor in terms of customer appeal and adding technology and offering more powerful engines can only drive costs up. The B-Class is already pricy compared to its competitors. At this moment it starts at eur. 24,300 in Germany, while the Audi A3 costs eur. 20,950.