Mercedes-Benz launches new A-Class to attract younger buyers

Article by Anita Panait, on March 8, 2012

Mercedes-Benz has launched an all-new A class hatchback that is targeted at younger buyers. It is the first compact model offered in the United States. The third-generation A class carries a fresh sporty look thanks to its longer and wider dimensions, a deviation from the second-generation’s box-type styling. Mercedes will roll out the new A class in Europe in September 2012 and in the US in 2014.

The company, however, will not market a three-door version of the A class in the U.S. "The A class is the right product at the right time and has tremendous potential to tap into new target groups and markets," Joachim Schmidt, head of sales and marketing at Mercedes, said.

The third-generation Mercedes-Benz A class is available in three styling packages: urban, style and AMG sport. The car’s new revolutionary look was a result of the company’s goal to create an appearance that would appeal to younger customers, as outlined by Mercedes-Benz design chief Gorden Wagener. "No other car in this segment is as progressive," Wagener said.

Mercedes did not roll out both the first and second generation A class in the US mainly because of American’s preference for larger cars and sports utility vehicles. However, situations have changed due to higher gasoline prices, government fuel-economy rules and market shifts, as well as changing customer preferences for smaller, well-equipped vehicles.

Mercedes now plans to take advantage of this by offering the third generation A class in the US. Mercedes officials revealed that its U.S. dealers were initially reluctant to sell the new A class until they saw the new model. The third generation A class is positioned by Mercedes to widen its lead on rivals BMW and Audi as well as to adapt to more rigid fuel-economy rules.

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