Mercedes-Benz may add more variants to future A- and B-class model lines

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 15, 2011

There could be more variants added to Mercedes-Benz’s future A- and B-class model lines, according to sales and marketing head Joachim Schmidt. He told Automotive News Europe that the company is considering several ideas, such as a three-door version of the A class, a convertible or a shooting brake.

Schmidt said that a decision hasn’t been made yet but Mercedes-Benz has stated that an SUV and coupe-styled four-door model will be joining the next-generation A- and B-class compact hatchbacks.

These four derivatives will be built on new architecture that Mercedes created for the compact lineup. Mercedes said that it has to develop small cars so that it can comply with tighter EU emissions standards and keep up with BMW and Audi when it comes to sales.

The first new compact to be launched is the second-generation B class, which is scheduled to arrive at European dealerships in late 2011.

Daimler's new architecture may also be used by Nissan Motor Co. luxury brand Infiniti for its plan to have its entry-premium model compete with the Audi A3 and BMW 1 series.

This is one of the possible products of the nearly 1-year-old alliance between Daimler, Nissan and Renault SA. Schmidt said that talks are ongoing with Renault-Nissan about basing an entry-level Infiniti on its compact car platform. Sources said that a decision will be made this summer on whether Infiniti will use the architecture.

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