Mercedes-Benz never has quite given up on its quest to become the purveyor of relatively affordable, commodity cars. It soon will expand its lineup of entry-luxury models that start at a middle-class point. If you can find a 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 with absolutely no options, not even an extra-cost paint color, it will set you back $33,695 retail, about the average price of a new vehicle in the U.S. today. That’s a notch above Mercedes’ past commodity efforts, which include the Smart brand it initially shared with the Swatch watch company, and its nine-year ownership of Chrysler. Now, the A-Class lineup is expanding according to Ola Källenius, Mercedes-Benz’s vehicle research & development chief. The lineup consists of the CLA-Class and the GLA-Class crossover/utility in North America, as well as the new A-Class hatchback recently launched in Europe. We scooped the Mercedes A-Class sedan for the U.S. in our August 2016 Future Cars print issue. It’s an … [Read more...] about Mercedes Plans a Family of FWD-Based Compacts for the U.S.
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DETROIT, Michigan—Porsche, Volvo, and Mazda all are absent from the North American International Auto Show this year, adding themselves to a list that for years have included Jaguar Land Rover, Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Tesla. While we miss the Volvo stand’s coffee, local Volvo dealers set up a display of models, all in white, just outside the Cobo Hall show floor, where Mitsubishi nearby flanked a Mirage sedan with an Outlander on one side and an Outlander Sport on the other, all in dark paint colors, on an unadorned display in a dark corner. There was no Mini stand this year: on the short press conference day, Monday, the BMW stand had a lone Countryman surrounded by Bimmers, though by Tuesday the Mini was no where to be found.GAC Motors’ stand was bigger and brighter than ever this year. Its president, Yu Jun, announced the automaker would attend this year’s National Auto Dealers Association meeting in Las Vegas, … [Read more...] about 2018 Detroit Auto Show Hits, Misses, and Revelations