Mercedes-Benz relies on Mexico to expand its compact car line-up
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Mercedes-Benz announced aggressive plans to extend its compact car line-up from five to eight models by the end of 2020, in a move aimed at providing the German manufacturer with greater presence in growing segments such as SUVs and Crossovers. To that end the company will be relying on a Mexican plant scheduled to open on 2018, according to Autocar website.
Mercedes-Benz sources told Autocar the new line-up will include a new four-door A-Class sedan to confront the Audi A3 saloon and a SUV with both five and seven-seat layouts which will challenge the BMW X1. The new models will be based on a new modular platform set to be first used on the upcoming fourth-generation A-Class, due in early 2018.
Mercedes-Benz’s new sales and marketing boss, Britta Seeger confirmed each of Mercedes-Benz’s existing five compact models, the A-Class, B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA, will receive successor models.
Additional models to the line-up will include a four-door saloon, which is set to be previewed in concept form at the Shanghai motor show in April, planned to rival the likes of the Audi A3 saloon and a four-door version of the BMW 1 Series which is sold in China and is also planned for sale in Brazil.
Also under development is a new compact SUV, likely taking the name GLB. Targeted at the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, it's also planned to be produced in both standard and long wheelbases – the former with five seats and the latter with seven seats.
Among the factories planned to produce the Mercedes-Benz’s compact car models is the new site under construction in a joint-venture with Infiniti at the Aguascalientes state. Set to open in 2018, it will initially build the GLA but is also earmarked to produce the new A-Class saloon and the long wheelbase version of the GLB, the automaker’s sources told Autocar.