Friday, January 18, 2013

Mercedes Not Interested in Audi A1 Supermini Rival

Mercedes Not Interested in Audi A1 Supermini Rival

It used to be the case that luxury automobiles are long, wide saloons or coupes. But nowadays, the industry covers everything from the size of shoebox to that of an office building… with four-wheel drive of course.

Although there are a few contenders, the supermini market isn't packed with dedicated luxury vehicles. That's because most automakers chose to offer a wide range of options that will double the price you pay buy fill the little hatchback with leather.

Audi chose to turn the VW Polo platform into a more expensive model that could be considered a luxury product to some extent. We're talking about the A1, which has been in production (in Brussels) since 2010, while production of the new A1 Sportback began in 2012.

Now that the A-Class has moved into the C- or compact car segment, Mercedes doesn't have an interest in superminis. Company CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche told Auto Express magazine that Mercedes won't build a rival for the A1 any time soon. Instead, the new generation of smart cars will fill the gap in the market right under the A-Class.

Editor's note: Profit margins or not, we not so happy with this decision. Yes, Mercedes doesn't have sister brands, so development costs would be high. But we'd rather have a small Mercedes over any smart.

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