China will get the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz C-Class, board member says

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 22, 2013

Mercedes-Benz will produce a long-wheelbase variant of the new C-Class sedan for China, according to board member Thomas Weber. The unit will also be built in China. The move is part of the luxury carmaker’s plan to roll out production of the C-Class across four continents in just six months.

Parent Daimler is getting ready for its sites in Germany, the United States, China and South Africa to build the next generation C class employing a modular production system that enables to build several different versions suited to domestic markets. "In the past we built cars, today we develop generations of models," Weber, also head of development at Mercedes-Benz Cars, told Reuters.

The carmaker is also planning to introduce a station wagon and a limousine as well as other models that will feature a new head-up display system and a multi-media system operated by a touch-sensitive pad.

The introduction of the next generation C class -- which accounts for around 30 percent of Mercedes’ sales – is a vital part of the carmaker’s strategy to exceed BMW as the best-selling premium automaker in the world.

The Mercedes will officially unveil the new model at the Detroit auto show in January 2014. The new model is faster to assemble due to the employment of improved production methods. "We have made a massive leap in terms of efficiency," Weber said, citing the vehicle as a key reason for efficiency gains.

He is referring to the new rear-wheel modular platform that will also underpin the next generation E-class limousine. The new Mercedes C class also boasts of using more aluminum, allowing it to weigh around 100 kilos less than the current generation, which was introduced in 2007. This also helps the new car to be around 20 percent more fuel efficient.

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