Mercedes-Benz has now sold more than 250,000 B Class vehicles. This is an incredible achievement for a vehicle which has tends to produce a "why would you" response from passing motorists!
Lets be honest here, its not a pretty car, apart from the B200, the rest of the range seems a little lackluster and over priced and given Merc's current reliability issues, it really doesn't seem like the ideal car.
“The innovative B-Class product concept impresses our customers with its fascinating design and unique blend of spaciousness and high degree of utility. The strong demand for the Sports Tourer is yet another confirmation of our role as the market leader in the premium compact car segment,” said Dr. Klaus Maier, Executive Vice President Mercedes Car Group, responsible for Sales and Marketing.
Then again, out of those 250,000, a third of have met their owners in Germany with Italy, France, Japan and Spain being the other big markets.
If your wondering how Mercedes manages to plug every single hole in the car market, the theory is simple. Even if 0.01 per-cent of people are likely to buy a type of car (say a B-class) the worldwide appeal makes that ratio worth considering. Manufacturers such as GM and Ford are only now catching on to this principle by designing platforms that can easily be converted from right to left hand drive (or vice versa).
One of the selling points of the B-Class has always been, that unlike some Mercedes today, the B-Class is actually made in Germany. The most popular model is the diesel variant, B180CDI (which came to Australia in may last year). One third go for the B 180 CDI, and 20 percent have selected the B 200 CDI.
Although Australian sales are minuscule in comparison with Europe, sales have have grown 35 percent this year (January – April) compared to the same period in 2006. Apart from the look, the B-class is not a bad car, with a five star safety rating - power output of 142kW @ 5000rpm and 280Nm of Torque (0-100Km/h in 7.6secs), the majority of Australians prefer to go with the B200 Turbo for the extra power and comfort.
The Mercedes B 200 CDI’s engine has been in the spotlight for many awards, not only for its power delivery but also for its fuel economy, an average fuel consumption of less than six litres per 100 kilometres.
The question remains though, with the A/B/C/E/G/M/R/S class as well as their AMG variants, just how many models and variants can Mercedes successfully sell?