Factory supply of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan – Australia’s long-time most popular luxury car – will be “steady” but limited from this month’s launch, so buyers could find themselves on a wait list.
As has become all too familiar across the car industry, the ongoing global semiconductor shortage continues to wreak havoc with production outputs of all the world’s carmakers.
Mercedes-Benz is obviously no different. Last December its Australian arm already delayed the launch of its volume sedan while it accumulated stock to support the rollout into retailers.
“We’ve had a lot of customers who’ve been waiting [for the new model],” a Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman told us today.
“We expect ongoing supply is going to be steady but unlikely to keep up with demand. Our aim is to keep customers as informed as possible,” the spokesman added.
The new ‘C’ has been billed as a baby S-Class due to its standout new interior.
The C-Class dominated its class between 2008 and 2019, beating the BMW 3 Series every year and often trailing only the Toyota Camry in the entire medium sedan market. But in 2020 and 2021 it lost its crown to the newer Bimmer.
Nevertheless, with more than 60,000 sold in Australia to date, the C-Class remains a vital piece of the puzzle for what remains Australia’s dominant luxury car brand.
As confirmed today, the new 2022 C-Class sedan launch rollout will comprise just two models at first: the base C200 at $78,900 before on-road costs, and C300 at $90,400.
The base car climbs a significant $12,000 over the old one, but Mercedes counters by claiming it has about $10,000 worth of extra equipment, and is larger.
Both use mild 48V electrification to make them drive more smoothly in stop/start traffic.
Both of these prices are non-negotiable, as per Mercedes-Benz’s switch to a controversial ‘agency’ distribution model on January 1.
Beyond this, there’s the C350e plug-in hybrid with its large 25.4kWh battery and claimed 100km of electric-only range – massive by plug-in hybrid standards.
However, we understand this vehicle is still some time away for Australia, with no formal launch timing proffered as yet.
The culprit once again is likely tight supply, amplified by the greater need to prioritise Europe with low-emission vehicles, to get fleet CO2 averages down and skirt fines.
On the Mercedes-AMG front, we expect to see the all-new C43 emerge overseas soon, while the new C63 halo is expected to make its premiere about six months later.
As we already know, this latter car is poised to lose the famous V8 and pick up a powerful plug-in hybrid system.
The company has confirmed it’s re-engineered the A45 AMG’s M139 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine for longitudinal applications and will use it in the AMG C-Class range…
Australia is a priority market for Mercedes-AMG, so don’t expect us to miss out on either model.
As revealed last August, neither the new C-Class Estate wagon or its higher-riding All-Terrain sibling will be coming to Australia, with demand for SUVs stated as the reason. Indeed, Mercedes-Benz no longer sells conventional passenger wagons.
CarExpert is attending a media launch of the new C200 and C300 sedans later in February, stay tuned for our review.