Fleet News

Benz boss signals premium battle ahead

A fresh round of car wars is under way in the UK premium car sector, according to Mercedes-Benz chief Dr Dieter Zetsche.

And the chairman of the German firm's board has told Fleet News that he believes his latest four door coupe model is set to play a major role in a new showroom battle aimed at keeping Mercedes-Benz ahead of arch-rival BMW in the sales charts.

“We have lagged behind BMW for many years, but things are different now. We are introducing more products that have wider appeal and my aim for the future is to get ahead of them in every key market around the world.

“Our new CLA is unique mid-size model in the marketplace and has been created to have many of the genes that people have shown they like in the BMW 3 Series.

“We now have a product that I see as a major weapon in our bid for new business and I'm confident it will draw customers from the 3 Series and allow us to retain the lead that we have just established in the UK.

“The car is totally functional for use in company fleets but it also has much of the distinctive style that we introduced with great success for the CLS line a few years ago. Style is now our number one priority and in this respect, the CLA is unique in the C-sector - it will give us an undoubted marketing advantage. I'm confident the car will achieve significant demand among company car drivers as we continue to grow our business,” he said.

In addition to a revised E-Class line-up and an all-new version of its flagship S-Class range, Mercedes is also gearing up to launch the GLA sport utility vehicle - the fourth new car based on the A-Class platform - in the coming months.

Latest SMMT figures show a total of 3,329 registrations made Mercedes the leading premium brand in February.

Author: Maurice Glover

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