After 20 years, the Mercedes A-Class sedan is coming over, here’s why
Mercedes thinks it has a volume-selling opportunity in the premium compact market, particularly with the middle-class millennial set. The costs to do research and development on any car have gone up significantly in the past half-century, so sheer volume has become the name of the game. The Mercedes A-Class has been sold over in Europe and other parts of the world since 1997, but the market hasn’t appeared strong in the US for the baby Merc, largely sold as a hatch overseas.
Benz and many others seem to be riding a wave of CUV popularity and have seen some success with marketing compact entry level luxury sedans stateside like the CLA, the BMW 2 series and the Audi A3. This has increased brand awareness for folks making a bit less than the average new Mercedes buyer or lessee 10 years ago—and there may be more of these folks around looking for a new car.
The economy and ‘maturing’ options from high-volume marques make it a good time for the Mercedes A-Class to show up.
20 years ago, a Honda Civic could be had with roll-up windows, no power steering, and a stick across all trims. The Civic now offers available heated rear seats and competes, albeit in Type-R guise, with $40,000 cars. At roughly $32,000, the Mercedes CLA starts lower under the base price of a loaded Civic, and people are buying both of these cars.
The economy in the US has pulled up nicely since the great recession, and the average transaction price of a vehicle in the US is hanging well over the alleged starting price of the A-Class (just under $30,000).
Daimer reportedly showed the Mercedes A-Class to a number of dealers; it may go on sale in September 2018
Various sources are reporting that dealers have been shown the car, which has been given a warm reception. Built on the company’s MFA2 architecture, the car will likely be offered in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive and related to the Concept A sedan pictured below. Much of the competition is offered in this configuration, so MB shouldn’t have difficulty tempting millennials wanting a comfortable transportation pod with a bit of cachét that supports their devices, offers all of the modern safety features, and is available with internet service.
-By: Sawyer Sutton