Mercedes-Benz has concluded there’s a potential market for the micro-compact A-Class in the US, reported The Car Connection (TCC) website, adding that the company had done extensive research.

“The next generation of the A will be in the States,” Juergen Hubbert, the DCX board member overseeing passenger car operations, told TCC.

“It is a definite decision.”

TCC said Hubbert would not say when the A-class would arrive, hinting only that it would be sometime between 2004 and ’05, when the current platform is refreshed and according to TCC sources, likely to be stretched a bit.

TCC said Hubbert also hinted DaimlerChrysler’s even smaller Smart could follow.

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“Everyone is expecting Smart will come,” Hubbert told TCC, adding, “There is increased interest” on the company’s part.

Hubbert told TCC the seven foot long, so-called city car currently wouldn’t meet federal safety standards, so either they’d have to change or the Smart would have to be redesigned.