Those waiting for a more affordable Mercedes-Benz to come by, the A-Class is and will remain the most affordable Mercedes sold by the company. In a recent statement, the Stuttgart based auto giant said that the company has no plans to expand in the B sub-compact segment. Mercedes acknowledged that it would have been difficult for the company to be profitable with a subcompact model and the decision of not expanding came after a long debate of weighing in the pros and cons.
Last year, speculations were rife that Mercedes could produce front-wheel drive compact cars under the ‘X-Class’ range of vehicles that would cost under 20,000 Euros (Rs. 16 lakhs). The prospective X-Class was intended to fill in the gap between the A and B-Class segments in the company’s line-up. The company was also planning to develop sub-compact vehicles with the help of Nissan-Renault to reduce the development cost for the small cars and engines, eyeing an annual sales figure of 1-1.50 lakh units globally from the X-Class range of models.
However, Mercedes is considering launching a Smart based vehicle in the sub-compact segment. The Smart brand will unveil the third-generation Smart ForTwo microcar and the second generation Smart ForFour models later this year. Being considerably lengthier at 3500 mm, the Smart ForFour will be competing against the Fiat 500 and Opel Adam in the segment. The company could look further to extend the Smart range with a sub-compact model. The sub-compact segment features very competitive products like the Audi A1 from the Volkswagen Group and also MINI vehicles from BMW.