GERMANY [updated]: New Mercedes-Benz B-Class for Frankfurt IAA
Daimler has confirmed a Frankfurt motor show debut for the all-new, second generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class. The new model will be the first of four new small vehicles to be built in Germany and Hungary, with production in China of three of these vehicles to follow.
Mercedes-Benz is vague about which of its two small-vehicle plants will build each of the four models, stating only that they will be manufactured "in a production network encompassing the Rastatt plant and a new facility in Kecskemét, Hungary".
Rastatt, which is the only plant to build the existing A- and B-Class models, will manufacture three of the four models, while Kecskemét will make two of the vehicles. The new B-Class will be produced at both locations. The Beijing Benz joint venture plant, meanwhile, will likely make the A-Class, B-Class and a small crossover, provisionally called 'BLK-Class'.
The B-Class replacement will be launched in Europe by year-end, with the as yet unseen new A-Class to follow in early 2012. The small crossover ('BLK-Class) should enter production in late-2012, while a four-door sedan is likely due in 2013. The last of these is expected to be sold mostly in China and the USA.
Author: Glenn Brooks