Mercedes-Benz is bolstering the C-Class line-up with versions that carry more powerful batteries to help its popular sedan withstand a trend toward sports utility vehicles.
Mercedes doubled the range of the model’s plug-in hybrid versions to 100km to appeal to a broader customer group, sales chief Britta Seeger told reporters. The mid-size cars, which will go on sale this winter, will also get the latest multimedia system from the luxury brand’s flagship S-Class model.
The C-Class will play “a very big part” in reaching the Daimler unit’s target of almost doubling the share of plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars sold this year, Seeger said. Mercedes shipped about 160 000 vehicles with a battery last year, roughly 7% of its global deliveries.
The C-Class has been the best-selling Mercedes in the last decade, playing a key role in winning over customers from rivals in markets including China, the US and Germany. But the car faces fierce competition from SUVs, which have surged in popularity around the world. Last year, the company decided to phase out production of the model in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and will import sedans for the US market from South Africa.
For the past five years, the C-Class generated most of its sales in China, where the average age of Mercedes buyers is substantially lower than in its home market Germany.
Apart from the plug-ins, the new C-Class models will be so-called mild hybrids, featuring small electric motors that support combustion engines to reduce fuel consumption.
The company hasn’t yet disclosed prices for the new C-Class models. — Reported by Christoph Rauwald, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP