Locally, the Mercedes Benz marque has always been known or seen as a rather upmarket name. Many also perceive that this brand name attracts older buyers rather than younger ones and thus the nickname “uncle” or “ah pek” car is used very much to describe Mercedes Benz owners, especially those who drives or owns an S-Class.
Nowadays, younger car buyers are more attracted to other German car firms such as Volkswagen, Audi and BMW. In recent years, these marques have aggressively promoted their car towards the younger car buyer’s market segment. For example, Audi has its youth-orientated A1 and BMW has its small-sized 1-series. In a way, these auto firms know or are aware that in order to capture the youth-orientated market segment, they have to release cars that appeals to image conscious consumers.
Now it seems that Mercedes Benz is trying to do the same thing by releasing a plan to introduce ten completely new cars that might appeal to younger customers.
Over the next three to four years, Mercedes Benz will introduce up to 10 completely new models. These models will not just be updates of their current models and the German auto firm also hopes to extend its model line-up into market segments that currently they do not represent.
One of the cars (pictured above) that is expected to be released is the A-Class. It may bear the same name as the model we see on the road today but judging from the new look, it is clear that Mercedes is trying to attract younger customers. The current A-Class is not a bad or an ugly vehicle but it is not a car that a 20+ year old would want to own. It just looks a little drab to most people.
Mercedes intends to compete with the BMW 1-series and Audi A3 and promised that the car will feature sporty appearance and a high class interior level. The A-Class underpinnings will spawn two further models; the BLS four- door coupe model which is a mini version of the popular CLS but with front-wheel drive and a yet to be named compact SUV that will rival the BMW X1 and recently released Audi Q3.
On top of this, Mercedes will also release two new models in the mid-size car category; firstly, a BMW 3-series convertible and an unknown variation which only time will tell. One new model will sit alongside the E-Class and the M-Class which suggests that we might get to see a crossover SUV. Three new models will accompany the S-Class in the large-size luxury models.
I feel that this is a clear indication of Mercedes Benz’s attempt to compete in model market segments that they do not represent. Audi alone has 8 different model types of their car’s model line-up, regardless of body type and not including its SUV models. In order to achieve market segment profitability, Mercedes has to take an aggressive step forward.
Photo credit: United Pictures via Car Enthusiast
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