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Third Time Is Absolutely A Charm For Entry-Level Merc

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Remember the dowdy original Mercedes-Benz A-Class? It's hard to believe that this sporty new five-door hatch evolved from that frumpy thing. But it has, and the new A-Class is officially rolling off the Daimler assembly line in Rastatt, Germany, as of now.

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Well lookie what we have here. We've been waiting for Mercedes-Benz to pull the silk off its long-awaited compact sedan, and a brace of new concept car images have started leaking onto the Internet this morning as further proof that a production model is almost here. Dubbed Concept Style Coupe, or CSC, the showcar seen here is expected to debut at the Beijing Motor Show next week. Earlier reports had this hot bit of hardware dubbed CLA, though that nomenclature could still be reserved for a prod

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The Mercedes-Benz A-Class wowed us at the Geneva Motor Show with its handsome styling and luxe interior fitment, so much so that we wondered aloud if this is the new family of small cars that Daimler has promised the U.S. market for 2013. According to a firsthand tip, the A-Class has already made a trip to Hollywood for a close-up. Taking advantage of the well-established motion picture industry, Mercedes-Benz sent its small wonder to Los Angeles for a 5-day working vacation to shoot a commercia

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It was only a few weeks ago that Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche laid out his global sales vision for the brand, aiming to be the world's Number One luxury automaker by 2020 with 2.7 million annual sales. One component of that plan is building another plant in North America, and a report by the TheDetroitBureau.com indicates that the plant will be built in Aguascalientes, Mexico – right next to a Nissan assembly plant that's already there.

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Mercedes-Benz is busily pushing development of the company's new A-Class hatchback, and our spy photographers have managed to click a few photos of two vehicles out for a little winter testing. The small five-door is reportedly headed to the U.S. market once it receives an official unveil, though there's no telling whether or not the AMG version we spied back in August will make the journey across The Pond as well. These new shots show off a vehicle that's ditched much of is camo cladding. As a

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 A class.

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Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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It's no secret that the Mercedes-Benz A-class hasn't been a resounding success and that the automaker is looking to revamp its entry-level line-up to better compete with rivals. According to Autocar, M-B boss Dieter "Dr. Z" Zetsche has green-lighted a new model that's taking aim at the BMW 1-series and Audi A3, and will accompany the rest of the revised A-class models when it debuts in 2011.

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Auto Bild is reporting that Mercedes and BMW may consider collaborating on subcompacts in the coming years. BMW's keeping an eye on the MINI plant in Oxford, England. If the factory doesn't run at full-tilt, BMW takes a monetary hit. Shacking up with Mercedes to build the next generation A-Class at MINI's facility and on the MINI platform would keep production humming right along. Other potential partners have been mentioned as well, such as Honda and PSA. Mercedes and BMW are working on hybrid

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