More on tap from Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz USA Inc. is studying ways to broaden its lineup, including the possibility of selling the next-generation A-Class and a new baby M-Class sport/utility vehicle (SUV) in the U.S. "I believe there's room for the A-Class in the U.S., but not in its present version," says Mercedes-Benz USA President Paul Halata, who adds that DaimlerChrysler passenger car chief Juergen Hubbert is eager to

Mercedes-Benz USA Inc. is studying ways to broaden its lineup, including the possibility of selling the next-generation A-Class and a new baby M-Class sport/utility vehicle (SUV) in the U.S. "I believe there's room for the A-Class in the U.S., but not in its present version," says Mercedes-Benz USA President Paul Halata, who adds that DaimlerChrysler passenger car chief Juergen Hubbert is eager to move the A-Class across the Atlantic to compete with the sub 3-series car expected from BMW AG in 2004. Mercedes also is receiving numerous requests for an additional SUV and could add an entry below the M-Class in size. However, initial findings indicate the market would be less than the 70,000 to 80,000 units per year Mercedes would need to break even. "I'm not so sure it's for us in the next two to three years," Mr. Halata says. "Maybe in five years."

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