• Jul 28, 2008
Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 A class.

Like almost every automaker, Mercedes-Benz is feeling the pinch of high gas prices and an economic slow-down in the States. Daimler AG expects M-B's sales in the U.S. to fall in the second half of the year and in order to keep things in the black, vehicle prices in the U.S. are going to rise.

To counter the shift in demand from larger, thirstier vehicles to smaller, thriftier rides, Mercedes is reconsidering its previous decision not to offer its next generation compact and sub-compact vehicles in the U.S. Mercedes originally planned to bring the B class over, but the weak dollar caused the automaker to hold off. With the entrance of the 1-series, the forthcoming X1 and small crossovers from Audi on the way, Mercedes is looking to bring it front-wheel-drive A and B class vehicles to U.S. consumers that might be open to a compact vehicle from a luxury automaker.

The A class hatch was recently revealed and the B class got a facelift earlier this year, however, both models will have to undergo some revisions to be ready for sales in the U.S. With more derivatives on the way, including 230 hp, turbo'd two-liters and a B class possibly sharing the C's underpinnings (similar to the 1 series using the 3 series' platform), don't expect either model to hit U.S. shores before 2011.



[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]


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  • 18 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe they should consider selling the A and B class under the Smart brand!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I thought the A and B were FWD, unlike the RWD C and (BMW) RWD 1 series?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm surprised the B class hasn't been available in the U.S., it's been in Canada for several years now. The B series is much larger than the Fit.

      I saw an A series in Toronto several years ago - not sold in Canada but this one had Mexican plates. IMO, a very neat looking car and one I would definitely be interested in depending upon price.

      Steve - the A series is similar to the Fit in size but with a much higher standard of finish (as seen in the photos).
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm sure we'll see at least one of these cars, if for no other reasons than M-B seems intent on unleashing ridiculous numbers of different models on the market.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As for them 'hitting the US shores', I'm thinking there's a good chance they could be here by 2010. MB should be able to retool some dormant SUV plant(s) stateside to make these less costly. Then they can keep the prices low, keep charging plenty for models made in Germany, and keep their precious luxury car image safe.
      • 6 Years Ago
      By the way this only proves that CAFE did not kill fun to drive cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        apparently you have never driven a A class, i had one for 2.5 years while i lived in Europe. it is a miserable little car, interior is no better than most of the plastastic interiors from the domestics. handles and levers break and it sounds like a sowing machine.

        it is easy to park though! This isn't a luxury car by anymeans, MB in europe is a full line automanufacturer not a luxury marque. I'm sure they will only bring the more luxurous offerings to the US. i sure hope they improve the quality of the cabin before it makes it state side though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        When I worked for DCX we had two... the only "fun" thing about it was all the car types asking me how I got a European market MB in N/A.

        After the 15th repeat question... it wasn't "fun" anymore. Just a people mover with a tri-star badge!

        :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      In Britain, the A-Class sells for Ford Focus money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't think these will do well in the US. Looks pretty much like a Fit at probably twice the cost of not more.

      At least the 1 series is billed a sports car or if nothing else a lighter/cheaper 3 series.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The US hasn’t taken to the R-Class which these appear to be smaller versions of and less attractive IMO as well. I’ll be curious to see if these do sell but I think people will opt for a Rabbit, GTI, Mazda 3, Fit, Clubman and similar. Now if they offer a hybrid diesel or some other unique selling feature then it might have legs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They should do well in the LA area where it seems like everyone had a C class or 3 series hatchback to go with their studio apartment. "Yeah, I drive a Mercedes baby."
      • 6 Years Ago
      IF this happens I seriously hop they don't make them $48K for one with options that should be standard on a luxury platform... I'm looking at you 1 series.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh yeah, these will sell very well. without the 'oooh neat' retro styling of the mini or the coupe proportions of the 1 series it should be entertaining to watch these flop, esp at the price point mercedes will need to charge to make importing them a viable business proposition.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If this will be priced at say, 23-26Gs i think people will buy it, young, hip, with money (their own of their parents)

      Come on we always see young college kids drive BMWs and Benzes, they may as well drive a smaller Benz
        • 6 Years Ago
        If they price it along the lines of mid-high 20's, it'll be good. Any higher, forget about it.
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