It’s Australia’s best-selling premium small car by some margin, but it could be getting the axe.
German media outlet Handelsblatt reports the Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be discontinued in 2025.
Also following it out the door is the considerably less popular B-Class hatch-cum-people mover, though both the A-Class and B-Class are expected to get mid-cycle updates this year.
The current, second-generation CLA Shooting Brake is sold in few places outside of Europe, with markets like Australia and the US missing out.
Mercedes-Benz Australia opted not to bring the current model here as it moves away from wagons, while the larger but similarly niche CLS Shooting Brake was discontinued globally.
Mercedes-Benz had confirmed in May it would cut its range of what it calls Entry Luxury models from seven to four.
It’ll debut a new compact MMA platform in 2024 which will debut the new Mercedes-Benz Operating System (MB.OS).
It may 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.
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it’ll reposition 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.
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.
Axing the B-Class appears a logical move for Mercedes-Benz as, despite BMW’s introduction of a second-generation 2 Series Active Tourer, the once MPV-mad European market has largely moved away from the format in favour of SUVs.
The A-Class sedan’s expected discontinuation comes after it failed to fire in the US market. It also overlaps with the CLA, despite the latter’s marketing as a coupe.
The A-Class hatchback, however, remains a popular model in markets like Europe and Australia though, under CEO Ola Kallenius, Mercedes-Benz is prioritising quality (profit) over quantity (production volumes).
While BMW has yet to confirm a next-generation 1 Series hatchback, Audi has confirmed its A3 will see another generation. That’s despite Audi announcing the smaller A1 hatchback and the Q2 crossover won’t be replaced.
According to Carsalesbase, the A-Class was the fourth best-selling model in the small car segment (C-segment) in Europe in 2021.
In Australia last year, Mercedes-Benz sold 3793 A-Class models, 388 examples of the B-Class, and 1299 CLAs.
The BMW 1 Series hatchback was behind at 2741 sales, and the Bavarian brand sold 2072 2 Series Gran Coupes – a rival to the A-Class sedan and CLA.
The A-Class’ tally exceeded that of more affordable small cars like the Honda Civic (2950), Subaru Impreza (3642) and Volkswagen Golf (1926), making it the fifth best-selling small car line in Australia.