Mercedes-Benz may consider selling the next generation B Class in the US, as well as a compact SUV.

According to Automotive News, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO, Ernst Lieb, said that because of rising fuel prices and a trend towards small cars in the US, the next generation B Class may ‘have potential’. The next generation model is due in 2011.

At the moment the smallest Mercedes sold in the US is the C-Class. The new generation model debuts in the US in August.

Mercedes had originally planned to sell the first generation B-Class in the US, putting it on sale for the 2007 model year. However, unfavourable exchange rates meant that the car would not have been competitive.

Lieb said he is not sure whether customers will want a car smaller than the C-Class. “Today when I talk to customers, I really wonder if they are ready for a small car,” he said. “Younger customers who have been in Europe and driven the car as a rental car are very open to it. The more traditional Mercedes customer is a little hesitant.”