Mercedes-Benz is planning to go SUV crazy by filling gaps in a line-up it admits is already the broadest in the luxury car market.
The German car maker now offers up to five SUVs around the world with the recent release of the A-Class-based GLA (pictured top), but is determined to capitalise on the unrelenting demand for the high-riding style of vehicle.
“From GLA all the way up to GL and, dare I say, G, we have the broadest range [of SUVs] but that must not be the end of the road,” Mercedes’ head of sales and marketing, Ola Kallenius, told Australian media at this week’s Geneva motor show.
“There must be others but it’s a tad too early to go into specifics. In every size [of SUV] we are in a good position but it is conceivable we will add further SUV products in next few years.”
Kallenius wouldn’t confirm the additional SUVs would be the much-speculated coupe-style models in the mould of BMW’s X5-based X6 and upcoming X3-based X4 (pictured above) – with potential model names such as GLC and MLC – though also said the company wasn’t averse to following market trends.
“Not necessarily,” said Kallenius when asked if Mercedes was against following other ideas in market. “I think we’ve seen a trend in last few years with premium manufacturers growing into different areas – perhaps where the premium manufacturers weren’t in the past.
“So everyone is going to go after every segment pretty much and it’s going to be your interpretation of how you do it staying true to your brand DNA and live up to your brand promise to determine whether you’re successful or not.”
Kallenius confirmed the company had no plans to create an SUV smaller than the GLA, dismissing some European reports about an X-Class model based on the Renault Captur.
The door is open for a smaller SUV to be offered by the company’s city car brand Smart, which will begin a fresh product offensive at September’s Paris motor show with production versions of the next-generation Fortwo (pictured below) and Forfour.