German Luxury Automakers are Re-Thinking ‘Small’

Detroit News - September 12, 2012

‘Small’ has always been “big” in Europe, but now some of the major Euro­pean automak­ers are think­ing in terms of intro­duc­ing their small­er sedans into the U.S. mar­ket.

Find out which mod­els are head­ed for Europe and beyond.

BMW, Audi and Mer­cedes are mov­ing relent­less­ly down-mar­ket, elim­i­nat­ing what once were high­ly prof­itable sales for mass man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies like Renault and Peu­geot of France, GM Europe’s Opel-Vaux­hall and Ford Europe.

The old Mer­cedes A and B class were not sold in Amer­i­ca. Mer­cedes hasn’t yet con­firmed that the new A class will go on sale in the U.S., but with the need to improve fuel effi­cien­cy dras­ti­cal­ly under Washington’s plans to raise aver­age fuel econ­o­my to 54.5 miles per gal­lon by 2025, there would seem to be a clear case for sell­ing this lit­tle car in Amer­i­ca.

Audi with its A3 and BMW’s 1 Series have dom­i­nat­ed the small lux­u­ry sec­tor, while Mer­cedes has com­pet­ed rather half-heart­ed­ly until now with a range of small cars that failed to excite buy­ers. This has changed with the intro­duc­tion of the all new Mer­cedes A class.




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