There will be pent-up demand for the all-new Mercedes-Benz MLC-Class when the swoopy large SUV arrives in Australian showrooms in 2016, according to one of the brand’s leading executives.
Mercedes-Benz Australia corporate communications senior manager David McCarthy admitted the production version of the Concept Coupe SUV (pictured above) answered calls from customers for a BMW X6-style vehicle from the three-pointed star brand.
“Obviously a vehicle that is in their mind is the X6,” McCarthy started.
“The X6 (pictured below) is a vehicle that I never personally understood initially – I do now. People want to be individual, they like the high riding position, they want four passengers, they don’t want five passengers, they want some luggage space and they want it to be dynamic.
“If you said to someone 10 years ago a vehicle like that is going to exist they’d laugh at you, but it’s been successful for BMW. Our take on it is going to be a little bit different, but I think ours will be successful as well.”
McCarthy said Mercedes-Benz Australia CEO Horst von Sanden had seen the ML-based MLC-Class production car in the flesh and described it as a “ripper” that was “very close” to the concept.
The public relations boss denied the MLC – which will become the local division’s sixth SUV, joining the GLA, GLK, ML, GL and G models – was SUV overkill, insisting it would find a market in Australia.
“That question of too many models… We bring them, our job is to sell them. If we don’t think we can sell them we don’t bring them, and that car will be coming here,” McCarthy said.
Despite its GLA looks, the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV will be significantly larger, expected to measure at least five metres from nose to tail and two metres wide.
The MLC production car will sit above the ML in Benz’s global line-up from 2015, mirroring BMW’s strategy with its X5 and X6 models.
The Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV will debut at next week’s Beijing auto show.