Ola Kallenius announced in the new Mercedes strategy that the future Entry Luxury range will consist of only 4 models instead of 7 at present. Which models will disappear? Mercedes A-Class hatch or sedan, B-Class or CLA Shooting Brake?
The first generation A-Class launched in 1997 was the only one in the range. In the second generation launched in 2004, the range was completed with the B-Class minivan. The third generation, launched in 2011 ( B-Class debuted first in 2011 followed by A-Class in 2012) marked a profound change of platform with the introduction of the new MFA platform and the number of models was expanded to five: A, B- Class, GLA, CLA, CLA Shooting brake.
The fourth generation that debuted with the A-Class in 2018 has become even more numerous, with no less than seven members because the 7-seater SUV GLB and A-Class sedan have been added to the existing models.
Now, Ola Kallenius, Mercedes CEO, has stated that Mercedes should not compete with volume models and should focus more on luxury models. In this regard, as part of the reorganization of the model range into three categories – Top-End Luxury, Core Luxury and Entry Luxury – Kallenius has announced that the range of compact models built on the modernized MFA II platform will be reduced from 7 to 4.
Which will be removed?
Mercedes did not make any official announcement but we are trying to make an analysis.
– We believe that the first model to disappear is the B-Class. Although Mercedes has substantially revised its design and the B-Class no longer looks as ordinary as a van, but is more dynamic with its silhouette that looks like an elevated station wagon, the demand for this type of body is declining. We believe that Mercedes will give up the B-Class even if BMW has launched a new competitor for it, the new generation BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.
– The second model on the list could be the A-Class sedan. Its design is not as attractive as CLA’s and although it is cheaper than CLA, we believe it will have no successor.
– It is difficult to guess which will be the third model that Mercedes will give up. GLA and GLB SUVs sell very well and CLA attracts the younger generation. Therefore, Mercedes will not give up on them. The third model could be the Mercedes A-Class hatch or the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake. None of these are sold on the US market. Mercedes A-Class hatch is the cheapest Mercedes model and Kallenius said it does not want to compete with volume manufacturers.
The CLA Shooting Brake competes directly with the Mercedes C-Class T-Model but is not as spacious and is based on front-wheel drive and not on the noble MRA rear-wheel drive platform from the C-Class. The quality is not as good as the one in the new C-Class. However, between them, there is a price difference of about 8,000 euros for the same engine. Therefore, both could coexist given the price difference. Both the A-Class hatch and the CLA Shooting Brake have AMG 35 and AMG 45 versions. Therefore, the A-Class could remain at the expense of the CLA Shooting brake only if Mercedes still wants to have a hot hatch in the range. But I do not think. So, we believe that the Mercedes A-Class will be sacrificed.
The first of the 4 compact models will appear in 2024 on the new MMA platform developed for the compact class which will replace the MFA II platform. MMA is a platform developed primarily for electric propulsion, but will also be able to accommodate PHEV models with conventional 3- and 4-cylinder engines.