Stuttgart: Keeping up with Europe’s increasingly stringent pollution laws requires a great deal of investment, and this is making it difficult for car companies to justify the continuation of less profitable small cars.
Audi has already announced that it is giving up on the A1 hatchback and Q2 crossover after the current generations have run their course, and now it appears that Mercedes might be letting go of its A-Class, and possibly even the B-Class for that matter.
Nothing is confirmed at this stage, however recent mutterings by Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius imply that the company is at least considering dropping smaller models.
According to Autocar, Källenius said during a recent investor’s event that it was not the company’s goal to compete with the volume producers.
“That’s not what the Mercedes-Benz brand stands for,” he said. “So stay tuned as far as our product portfolio is concerned. But we would rather be looking up than down.”
The CEO added that even before the current supply problems emerged, the company had made it clear that its strategy was not to chase volume.
“We had already started taking actions in our channel management to make sure we watched the quality of our margins and pricing power - and in that regard, the supply constraints have been like an unwanted experiment,” Källenius said.
“And it’s true, you can see the profitability has been very robust during these times.”
The A-Class is currently the company’s cheapest car globally. In South Africa it starts at R661 000, versus R709 465 for the B-Class, R793 313 for the CLA-Class and R802 376 for the GLA.