Mercedes-Benz debuting new small car platform in 2024
Mercedes-Benz is targeting increased profitability with its next-generation small cars, and will trim its range of offerings.
The company will debut the new MMA architecture in 2024, which will underpin four new vehicles.
The new MMA platform will also be the first to use the new Mercedes-Benz Operating System (MB.OS).
It may also be the last Mercedes-Benz platform to be introduced with the option of internal combustion power, as from 2025 onwards the company has said all new platforms will be electric-only.
That includes the new MB.EA architecture for medium to large vehicles, AMG.EA for performance cars, and VAN.EA for vans.
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it’ll reposition what it calls its Entry Luxury vehicles, “honing in more precisely on the wishes of discerning customers”.
It’s also aiming to record higher profit margins on those vehicles, as part of a broader push by the company to reach an operating margin target of around 14 per cent by the middle of the decade in favourable market conditions or eight per cent in “very unfavourable” conditions.
It’ll also reduce the number of vehicles it offers in this segment to four, and expects its share of the segment to be reduced by a quarter between 2019 and 2026.
It currently offers the A-Class hatch and sedan, CLA four-door coupe and Shooting Brake wagon, B-Class MPV, and GLA and GLB crossovers.
Mercedes-Benz also offers electric versions of the latter two, the EQA and EQB.
All of these models are based on the MFA2 platform.
Mercedes-Benz sold 680,000 Entry Luxury vehicles globally in 2019 but only 570,000 in 2021, however during that time the average selling price rose by 20 per cent.
It’s unclear yet which model lines will be getting the axe.
Mercedes-Benz could choose to reduce the redundancy of having two four-door sedans in its A-Class and CLA, particularly as the former has failed to reach sales expectations in North America.
In an investor presentation, Mercedes-Benz featured an image of a sedan under a wrap, however this appears to be identical to an image featured on another page captioned “New E-Class”.
Potentially on the chopping block are the B-Class and CLA Shooting Brake, which are very much Europe-focused models.
Mercedes-Benz has previously confirmed the MMA platform will be “electric first” but support internal combustion engines, while it can also be used for mid-sized vehicles.
MMA vehicles could also use some of the technology previewed on the single-motor, rear-wheel drive Vision EQXX concept.
The efficiency-focused concept, revealed earlier this year, features a flat underbody, active cooling shutters and retractable diffusers. Combined with a teardrop-style body, it has a drag coefficient of just 0.17.
Mercedes-Benz is realigning its product strategy, expecting to grow its share of top-end vehicles by 60 per cent between 2019 and 2026.
The company’s new strategy will see it allocate more than 75 per cent of its investments to develop products for the most profitable market segments.
It’s planning to introduce a new Mythos Series of “ultra-exclusive collector cars”, while also expanding the Mercedes-Maybach range to include an ultra-luxury version of the new SL.
Originally published as Mercedes-Benz debuting new small car platform in 2024
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