It seems like the compact segment is becoming more and more lucrative for automakers. Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Ernst Lieb says that a new family of compact vehicles and fuel-efficient drivetrains of its C-Class sedan are expected to drive a 30 percent sales jump within the next 5-years.
“The potential is there,” said Lieb. “Even if the market doesn’t grow by a huge rate and stays at 13 or 14 million, the majority of these buyers will be in that lower segment.”
The German automaker plans on kicking off its compact segment lineup in 2013 with the next-generation B-Class. Three vehicles will be based on the model including a coupe, crossover and sedan.
The redesigned C-Class will see a coupe variant later this year and Lieb says Mercedes-Benz will also add a convertible version. That will give Mercedes-Benz the ability to compete with the BMW 3-Series sedan, coupe and convertible. Lieb said Mercedes will have “an opportunity to meet our competitors at their own game.”
The next-generation C-Class will also be available with 4-cylinder engines. Honestly, we could care less about 4-cylinder versions and would love to see a C 63 AMG coupe.
– By: Omar Rana
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)