Mercedes plans ‘tailor-made’ C class

The C class accounts for about 25% of Mercedes product sales, making it essential to the automaker’;s ideas to pass BMW and Audi for the international premium product sales lead.

March 13, 2014 – 6:58 am ET

FRANKFURT (Bloomberg) — Mercedes-Benz plans to greater meet the wants of C-class consumers by constructing the new generation of its prime-offering model on 4 continents. It really is part of the automaker’;s bid to win far more consumers around the globe.

With C-class manufacturing sites in Germany, the United States, South Africa and China, “we can supply tailor-manufactured designs for the different markets,” Ola Kaellenius, Mercedes’;s revenue chief, explained in an interview for the duration of a test drive event close to Marseille, France. “The trend for additional selection continues.”

The C class goes on sale in Europe this month and the United States in September.

The broader manufacturing ne2rk will assist Mercedes be more flexible to customer demand as it seeks to obtain ground on premium rivals BMW and Audi.

Mercedes, which lost the leading spot in worldwide premium-auto product sales to BMW in 2005 and fell to third behind Audi in 2011, intends to retake the crown by the finish of the decade. The 35,560 euro C class, which accounts for about 25 % of Mercedes income, is important to that hard work.

Mercedes has upgraded the automobile with touchpad technologies and an iPad-like show to lure younger clients. The C class also is outfitted with engineering from the flagship S class, such as 6 radar sensors, to boost security characteristics.

‘Food for thought’; for rivals

New features on the C class will also include 2 front-finish types, a partially automated driving program and an optional surround-sound method.

“The new C class is much more personal and versatile than ever before,” Kaellenius mentioned. The automobile “gives our competitors some meals for believed.”

Manufacturing of the C class began in Bremen, Germany, in February. Assembly in East London, South Africa, begins in May, followed by Vance, Ala., in June and Beijing this summertime.

The addition of production at Mercedes’;s factory in Alabama will lower waiting occasions for the model in the United States by 4 weeks, giving the brand an edge in its most significant market compared with the predecessor, Kaellenius explained. Rival versions such as the BMW 3 series and Audi A4 aren’;t produced in the United States.

Following rolling out the sedan and wagon this 12 months, other variants, which may possibly include a convertible, will follow commencing in 2015, the executive mentioned.

Mercedes, which targets operating revenue margins of at least 10 percent in contrast with 6 % last 12 months, is also introducing the GLA compact SUV and S-class coupe this year.

“We see a lot of momentum in the brand,” Kaellenius explained. The revamped small sedan is “important for us, volume-smart and also for our profitability.”

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