Mercedes-Benz doesn’t plan on releasing a sub-A-class Mercedes hatchback in the medium term, said Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche at the Frankfurt Auto Show. This means that Mercedes won’t be producing a rival for the Audi A1 and BMW Mini anytime soon. Zetsche made these comments to respond to reports that the company will offer a product to fill the gap between the new A-class and the 2014 Smart Forfour, which is shorter than 3.5 metres.
He acknowledges that the potential is there for a supermini to create a high volume but then it’s difficult to profit from. However, he cited that it’s a “possibility” down the line. At Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz presented the GLA compact crossover, which is the fourth of Mercedes' new lineup of compact cars based on the ‘MFA’ platform after the A-class, B-class and CLA-class.
Sources told Autocar that the fifth model will be a CLA Shooting Brake instead of a compact convertible or a supermini. It’s not likely that Mercedes will drop plans for a premium supermini as BMW is poised to produce its third-generation Mini hatchback while Audi and Alfa Romeo are doing well in the same segment.
Zetsche said that the company seeks to build dreams with its new generation of compact cars. While he admitted that the first-generation A- and B-class failed, he expressed optimism for the new ones that are more appealing and more powerful.