The bad economy looks to be getting deeper over in Europe. The latest evidence is German carmakers' desperate efforts to prop up badly-lagging sales. Last month, European discounts on German brands averaged 12.2 percent. And now, Mercedes-Benz is offering a 3000-euro ($3,900) trade-in incentive to customers.
The New York Times is reporting that Daimler has decided to proceed with production of a fleet of 500 Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell vehicles early in 2011. Like the Smart ED, the battery packs and power electronics for the electric A-Class will be supplied by Tesla Motors. According to Tesla chief technical officer JB Straubel, Daimler decided to move forward with the project after Tesla took the initiative and converted an A-Class for demonstration purposes.
There's no question that Wolfgang Bernhard is well liked by the boys at Daimler. In fact, rumor has it that he's currently being groomed (for the second time, actually) to take the reins at Daimler's Mercedes-Benz automotive unit. If you believe the rumors, the only real question is when Bernhard will take over from current head Dieter Zetsche.
It's been confirmed for some time that Mercedes-Benz is developing a new two-door coupe version of its C-Class to replace the current hatchback CLC model. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Autocar is reporting that Mercedes-Benz is also working on an AMG variant of the coupe to go up against the Audi RS5, BMW M3 and Cadillac CTS-V.
Apparently the product planners at Mercedes-Benz and AMG have decided that both cheaper and more expensive derivatives of the gull-wing SLS coupe would be too problematic and have instead opted for something completely different. AMG is now reportedly developing a mid-engined SLM to take on the likes of the Audi R8 and a possible BMW supercar.