By on April 15, 2013

Red alert for armchair marketing strategists: Daimler plans what surely will be branded as an inexcusable watering down of its brand equity: The Mercedes brand is working on a series of very small (under 4 meters) and affordably priced (17,000 to 20,000 Euro) cars.

According to Germany’s Focus magazine, the baby Benzes will be Daimler’s answer to BMW’s Mini. According to the story, the series will launch with a small SUV below the GLA, and a small van in 2015. A year later, a 3 door version will follow. The cars will be based on Daimler’s A-Class, but will be much shorter.

Daimler urgently needs to make its cars attractive and approachable for younger demographics as the bulk of its core customers is about to retire – at least as far as its home market is concerned.

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12 Comments on “Smaller, Cheaper Benzes Ante Portas...”

  • avatar

    there might be hope for Mercedes yet.

  • avatar

    Isn’t that what Smart is?

  • avatar

    If there’s one thing Daimler can do with the best of ’em, it’s cheapen cars out. Look at the abominations they marketed under the Chrysler name.

    • 0 avatar

      Blah blah blah blah blah – Chrysler 300 was an awesome car under MB and it still is doing well.

      • 0 avatar

        I cannot imagine why someone would’ve paid $35,000 for a car with an interior by Fischer Price, at least when it came out.

        Now the interiors are quite nice, but then again they’ve washed their hands of that Mercedes leadership.

  • avatar
    CV Neuves

    I am not sure what Benz is about here. The Mini sells as an arguably well executed re-incarnation of a cult vehicle. An A-Class derivate would be just another small car, with a “luxury”-badge – the Cadillac-lbaled Daewoo comes to mind. It does not give a younger audience extra disposable income to spend on a label.

    Benzers should maybe try to tell their accountants to shut up and have their designers come up with a new S-Klasse based on technology, quality, durability and style to re-establish the marque. Its glory days are now a couple of decades in the past. With their plethora of styles out there – A-, B-,C-, E-, G-, M-, R-, S-Klasse, CLA, CLK, CLS, GLK, ML, SL, SLK, SLS, Citan … – Benz turns more and more of a brand for the masses, which may be ok for them financially. Just as a distinguished “luxury”-brand they are losing ground. I would not consider any of their models – even if I had the money.

  • avatar

    They need a separate brand – Simca, Yugo, ZAZ come to mind.

    • 0 avatar
      CV Neuves

      How about “Talbot” – with residual English class? If something German is required they may wish to revive “Goggomobil” for their minis. However, this is owned by BMW. “Goliath” – a small post-war car known as the “band aid bomber” produced by defunct Borgward – might be a marque easier to come by.

  • avatar

    The SMART was simply too expensively engineered.

    The smart way to make a small car is to go low-cost then ante up with options, as BMW did with the MINI.

    An A-Class derived super-mini is definitely necessary to compete with MINI and the A1. But they have to play it smart. Something like the CLA will still play to upscale pretensions while expanding their reach downmarket… a whole lot better than something like yet another A-Class or B-Class derivative would.

  • avatar

    It appears Renault/Nissan will play a more influential role with Daimler`s small car development plans.

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