As head of Mercedes-Benz of United States in the early of 1990, Mike Jackson was going to maintain the ungainly, high-priced A-class smaller auto out of the US.
Americans were unwilling to pay premium costs for small cars afterwards, even if the vehicle wears luxury nameplates. And purchasers of these cars remain low.
But European luxury brands try to change that dramatically in the next couple of years. Wants to increase sales and meet strict government gas mileage standards, they program to reveal new small cars with premium costs and luxury content.
Mercedes-Benz unveils a concept version of the redesigned A-class coupe in April on the New York auto show. Jackson, on the other side with the fence as CEO of AutoNation Inc., the nation's biggest automotive retailer, calls it "absolutely beautiful."
While other luxury brands, which include Lexus and Cadillac, are creating similar moves, Europeans are leading the charge. The A-class, expected in 2013 in the United States, will be the initial of a next generation of sub-$30,000 small cars that European carmakers are of the opinion will sell in the USA.
Currently, three small European luxury cars are on the marketplace: the Audi A3 hatchback, the 1-series from BMW convertible/coupe and the Volvo C30 three-door hatchback. They're low-volume cars, with combined United States sales of 23,596 units this past year.
A conservative count of carmaker estimates proves sales in U.S. of small European luxury cars at the very least doubling in the next few years. However, many observers question whether or not the segment occasion to be strong here.
Mercedes-Benz and BMW will lead your time and effort to grow the segment. The route to success is going to be keeping the vehicles premium in content and satisfaction, brand executives say.
The new cars are distinctive in the halfhearted attempts in the late 1990s and early 2000s. During those times, BMW has presented the 318ti--a 3 series with a rear lopped-off end-and Mercedes-Benz in 2002-05 sold its strange looking C320 and C230 hatchbacks. Those cars failed immediately after a brief run.
That will not be described as a problem with the four new smaller luxury vehicles visiting Mercedes-Benz in the next 3 to 4 years, states Ernst Lieb, CEO of Mercedes-Benz United States. Safety functions like adaptive cruise control and traction control will come standard.