Mercedes confirms it isn't planning to bring a Mini rival to market for the time being
11 September 2013

Mercedes won’t go chasing the Audi A1 and BMW Mini for the medium term.

That’s according to Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche, who has ruled out the idea of a sub-A-class Mercedes hatchback — for now.

In response to rumours circulating about a will to plug the gap between the new A-class and next year’s Smart Forfour, itself measuring less than 3.5 metres in length, Zetsche told Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show: “it’s clear that there’s an opportunity for a supermini. Such a car would offer plenty of volume for us, but it would also be tough to make profit from.

“For now, I don’t see a need for us to go that way,” he said, “but further down the line, it’s a possibility.”

Zetsche was speaking after the unveiling of the GLA compact crossover – the fourth of Mercedes' new breed of compact cars based on the ‘MFA’ platform after the A-class, B-class and CLA-class. There will be a fifth – but it’ll be a CLA Shooting Brake, according to Autocar’s sources, rather than a compact convertible or a supermini, as some have suggested.

The idea of a premium supermini isn’t likely to go away for Mercedes, however, with BMW on the cusp of delivering its third-generation Mini hatchback, and both Audi and Alfa Romeo now doing good business in the same segment.

“We want to build dreams with our new generation of compact cars,” said Zetsche. “There’s no doubt that the first-generation A- and B-class failed on that. The new ones are much stronger and more desirable.”

Click here for more Frankfurt motor show news.

Our Verdict

Mini Hatch 2006-2014
With a higher waistline and bonnet, new Mini doesn’t look quite as good as its predecessor

The Mini Hatchback is desirable and fun, and it has great re-sale values

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Comments
5

11 September 2013

I think Mercedes is too stuffy to succeed in the Small, fun premium sector.
More importantly when you think Mercedes, you think E-class. If they go stretching the brand in a downsizing movement, it may hurt their large-premium perception. Think BMW and you immediately think 3 series, Audi is A3 / A4, so Mercedes always feels, at least I think, slightly above that.
So do they want to mess with that? Maybe do something with the Smart brand?

12 September 2013

I kinda agree that Merc is too stuffy for a small car, but it could be interesting. I hope that when the next fortwo & forfour prove popular, which I reckon they will now they've had more time to establish the brand, they will build a new bigger smart on the clio platform, along with maybe a Captur version too. This could be the time for them to properly rival MINI

12 September 2013

i agree with Superstevie, Mercedes should use their joint venture with Renault/Nissan to access the Clio/juke platform, and build something along those lines. With attractive styling, plenty of customisation options and a big Merc star on it, its bound to find its way onto plenty of British badge obsessed driveways.

12 September 2013
artill wrote:

i agree with Superstevie, Mercedes should use their joint venture with Renault/Nissan to access the Clio/juke platform, and build something along those lines. With attractive styling, plenty of customisation options and a big Merc star on it, its bound to find its way onto plenty of British badge obsessed driveways.

I wholly agree with that and yet they are still driving a Renault , a car they in a million years would not touch with a barge pole. The same can be said for Mini drivers, who, it seems are obsessed with it being a BMW of sorts, but negate to remember that it has a Peugeot engine, or front wheel drive, or nothing like a BMW at all.

13 September 2013

Yes Smart is probably the way to go but how about something more fun? Not sure who owns the name Messerschmitt these days but back in the fifties when not allowed to build planes they built cars designed by someone else. If you take the basic shape of a Kabinroller and widen it to accommodate four but leave the wheel housings sticking out a bit it could be fun. No need to follow the formula, just the look (as in new beetle). The fastest was the Tiger, and one recently sold for $280,000, so time for an update!

I know, fat chance...

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