Under six years after launch, the one-millionth Mercedes-Benz A-Class has rolled off the production line at DaimerChrysler’s Rastatt plant. The milestone vehicle is a long-wheelbase, ‘comet-grey’ A170 CDI turbo-diesel.

The most important market for the A-Class is Germany, with the core European markets of Italy, Great Britain and France following. Female customers account for around 40% of A-Class sales. For the standard-wheelbase A-Class, Mercedes-Benz offers 1.4, 1.6, 1.9 and 2.1-litre petrol engines and 1.6- and 1.7-litre diesels. Most versions can also be ordered with a long-wheelbase body; the 170mm additional length is all in the rear doors and passenger compartment.

Since the LWB version’s launch in spring 2001, more than 40% of A-Class customers have bought the longer model while the most popular colour for the entire model line is polar silver.

DaimlerChrysler said the next generation A-Class will be manufactured at same Rastatt plant, following a €900 million in the expansion of the facility.

Mercdes-Benz head Jurgen Hubbert said: “The A-Class will also help bolster the brand’s long-term sales success during the second product offensive we started last year with the E-Class. In the future we will continue to take advantage of the market opportunities for the A-Class in all core Mercedes-Benz markets, further expanding our market presence.”

Mercedes has, however, still not made its intentions entirely clear about the future of the A-class in the key United States market. While it has long been thought the next-generation A-class would be sold there from 2005, about the time DaimlerChrysler also introduces its European Smart small car brand to Americans, recent reports say Mercedes is now developing a USA-unique model line from the European A-class platform. The company has not commented officially on the rumours.