The second generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which goes on sale in Europe in less than a month, will not come to the States because according to model development chief Jörg Prigl, "There is no sense in bringing this type of vehicle to America if Americans don't want it." Is it that we don't want this type of vehicle, or this particular vehicle? It's worth noting that the slightly larger B-Class will arrive here as a 2006 model, and that the smaller Smart brand of upright cute ute will also meander its way to North America in the near future. Perhaps Mercedes doesn't want to compete with itself, especially in a market where Benz is presently a luxury-only brand. AutoWeek quibbles over the asking price, equivalent to $23,000, but this wouldn't necessarily keep loyal Mercedes customers away, because if there's one thing they're willing to pay extra for, it's a badge. The problem would be presence of the A-Class' competition, as most cars in that segment (i.e., the Mazda 3) can equal its performance and build quality for less bread, thus keeping non-badge-conscious buyers away.
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