Mercedes-Benz has been profiting mightily from compact cars recently. Its Kecskemét, Hungary, factory added a third shift to keep up with demand, and company's US arm called the CLA-Class, its "best launch in 20 years." However, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche says the Mercedes brand won't be getting any smaller, subcompact models; they will be reserved for the Smart brand.

Last year, Mercedes was rumored to be working on a X-Class subcompact model to sit between Smart's vehicles and the A-Class. The new vehicles would have been positioned against cars like the Audi A1. However, Zetsche told Automotive News Europe that those plans were seriously debated but finally nixed. The segment was decided to be too difficult to reach profitability in, and the competition too tight.

Instead, he said to ANE: "There is a possibility that Smart could expand into the subcompact segment, but we have not decided that yet." The brand launches the new Fortwo and Forfour later this year, but they don't quite carry the premium cachet that a Mercedes product does.

Even if a subcompact Mercedes is out of the question, the brand doesn't seem ready to give up on diminutive models. The GLA-Class compact crossover is on the way, and both a CLA Shooting Brake and GLA coupe are rumored.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Months Ago
      I can't get past the styling. It's profile is attractive but some of the details bother me. The rear-end looks like someone leaned on it when it was a clay mock-up and they went with it. Fake scoops in the rear bumper? Really?!
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 7 Months Ago
      Mercedes *shouldn't* build a subcompact, that's what Smart is *for*.
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm interested in seeing what the ForFour looks like.
      • 7 Months Ago
      They really need to change the name of the brand "smart", it sounds so pretentious right now.
      • 7 Months Ago
      MB should take a page out of BMW's book and make th Smart, like MINI. MINI sells 10:1 in the US. A fast, fun, attractive little car that isn't overpriced or built with plastic panels and an egg shape.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Been looking at my replacement cars but this thing is just fugly
      • 7 Months Ago
      FINALLY. Some good news from Mercedes. All this talk about MLC and the B class coming to America makes me scared.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Mercedes is so pathetic and lame now that they're comparing their C class diesel to a Prius! Wow, it costs twice as much and gets 5 mpg less…I'm impressed.
        Joe Liebig
        • 7 Months Ago
        lol .... even the E250 CDI beats the Prius in fuel economy
        • 7 Months Ago
        @marv.shocker Bottom line up front... The prius beats diesels on the EPA sticker... the diesel beats prius on mostly highway miles... the prius beats diesel on mostly city driving. So, it depends on your driving habits.... As for cost... the prius wins hands down since MSRP and maintenance are WAY cheaper and the fuel is regularly cheaper too.
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