The gloves are off in the fight for supremacy between the German car manufacturers – Audi, BMW (leading the pack in sales), and Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz has been left wanting in the premium compact car market, and it seems as though they’ve found the answer in the new A-Class.
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is entirely new. The old offering, was tall and narrow, to the detriment of its styling and this pushed it more into the Mini-MPV segment, rather than a premium hatch, and by default, the “granny car”. Mercedes-Benz through its C and E-coupe models have narrowed the generational gap of their driver market, and market research shows that a new and modern target market has started to show interest in the brand. It goes without saying that the A-Class will provide an even greater opportunity to attract young and discerning consumers to the brand.
In a bid to attract a younger audience to the brand, A “Progressive and sporty look” is what Joerg Prigl, Head of Design and Development at Mercedes-Benz was going for.
In SA a taster was put out at the Johannesburg International Motor Show two years ago, and 1st impressions were that of excitement and we still are. The car has been very well received in markets that it has been launched in. No doubt the success will extend to SA, as we wait in anticipation for its April release on our shores.
It’s received several awards for its progressive design, including being named “Germany’s Most Beautiful Car” at the 2012 AUTO BILD Design Award.
Surely it’s a beauty. And from where I am sitting (which is the same side as those who voted for this award) the new A-class is undeniably a sight to behold.
This then begs the question, can it deliver on being a car, and compete with the other players? – It is a car after all, and not a supermodel.
If the ADAC (German automobile club) “Gelber Engel 2013” (Yellow Angel 2013) award for being the public’s favourite car is anything to go by, then this beauty promises to pack a few punches.The “Gelber Engel” is seen as a sort of seal of approval as it doesn’t just look at design and image, but also takes into account criteria such as the vehicle’s price-performance ratio, functionality, efficiency, safety and eco-friendliness.
Even more exciting is that the A-Class is also a pioneer, with potential to grow the premium compact range, with the CLA, baby CLS, and the GLA rumoured to follow in 2014.
The new A-Class will be introduced in SA in April, with the following line-up and pricing:
A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY R275 000
A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY R298 000
A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Auto R310 000
A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY manual R300 000
A 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY R355 000
A 250 Sport R395 000