Mercedes seeks U.S. consumer feedback on entry-level crossover, coupe, sedan

2009 Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Mercedes-Benz has been running group clinics in the United States, inviting consumers down to review new design choices for a range of entry-level models that range from a crossover, sporty coupe and a sedan.

The new models are based on the redesigned front-wheel-drive B-Class platform that will fit below the C-Class in the brand’s lineup. Sales of the models are expected to begin after 2011.

“The first clinics have been done in the U.S. market,” said Bernhard Glaser, general manager of product development at Mercedes-Benz USA. “We are still at a very early stage. The design freeze has not taken place.”

Glaser said that consumers that were invited to the clinics were shown full-sized clay models.

Is Mercedes-Benz going to bring the boxy B-Class 5-door to the U.S.? Probably not, since dealers say that the model does not fit Mercedes-Benz’s luxury image. Glaser said the company has not yet decided whether the cars would be sold under the B-Class badge in the United States or have a separate designation.

– By: Kap Shah

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)