Geneva Motor Showdown: Mercedes-Benz, CLA Pick A Fight With Audi, BMW Page 3

March 8, 2013

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

More at the top: a new S-Class, too

The new CLA arrives just as an expansion at the top of its lineup will bring a new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, to be shown in May. This new family of cars will include six different vehicles, including a new vehicle effectively replacing the Maybach, and likely approaching the $200,000 to $250,000 price point.

"We will broaden the portfolio with the S-Class, and take some of these family members more upscale to reflect at least the segment which is in between the Maybach and the top end of the S-Class," Zetsche explains, citing the Rolls-Royce Ghost as a specific competitor for the new vehicle.

"We think we have a stronger foundation to go there with Mercedes, with the Mercedes dealer body and so on….to further strengthen and balance the brand just when we are going with these compact cars."

At the same time, Daimler will also add more compact cars, including a four-seat vehicle for Smart and a crossover based on the new CLA. There's also a coupe-like SUV to come from the M-Class family, from the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Over the longer term--by the end of the decade--Mercedes will add 13 vehicles it does not sell today, vehicles without a predecessor.

In the near future, Zetsche is content to manage sales conservatively, banking on future new vehicles to bring Mercedes sales up to the same level as the reputation the company enjoys around the world.

"In the long run and based on substance, I think it's important that we strive for this number one position," he finishes. "In the sense of games and short term...we are not participating in these type of games."


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