With arch-rival Audi having announced the end of the A1 and Q2 after the current generations, Mercedes-Benz has now hinted the same fate could befall the A-Class once the current iteration reaches the end of its lifecycle.
The three-pointed star’s rival for Ingolstadt’s segment-up A3 and BMW 1 Series, the A-Class initially debuted as an MPV-styled hatch in 1997 before becoming a traditionally styled model with the debut of the third generation in 2012. Despite the current generation, internally codenamed W177, hailing from 2018, Mercedes-Benz CEO, Ola Källenius, hinted in an interview this week the axe could come down on the A-Class in response to Benz’s desire of not wanting to become a volume player.
“It’s not our goal to be a competitor of the volume producers. That’s not what the Mercedes-Benz brand stands for. So stay tuned as far as our product portfolio is concerned. But we would rather be looking up than down,” Britain’s Autocar quoted Källenius as saying. “Even before the supply constraints started, we had made it clear that our strategy isn’t to chase volume but to chase value for our customers and company.” If proven accurate, the A-Class will join not only the ill-fated Nissan Navara underpinned X-Class, but also the C-and-E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet on Stuttgart’s list of recently discontinued or set-to-be-depart models.
Although a replacement for the X-Class is unlikely to materialise, the mentioned coupe and cabriolet models will be succeeded by the CLE next year. Currently undergoing testing, the CLE is rumoured to be closer aligned to the C-Class than the E-Class, with the same range of mild-hybrid petrol engines set to be offered. An AMG model is also likely, but potentially only in coupe form. Until an announcement is made though, expect the A-Class to continue for at least another two years or so.