European sales of the Mercedes-Benz B class have been on the decline for years. In 2012, Mercedes sold more than 120,000 units of the premium compact minivan. Last year the B class's volume dipped to little more than 62,000. Despite the slump, Mercedes sales boss Britta Seeger says the B class will be replaced. She explained why in an interview with Automotive News Europe Associate Publisher and Editor Luca Ciferri.
The new family of Mercedes compact models will expand to nine derivatives from six now. Do you still see room for a compact minivan such as the slow-selling B class?
The B class is part of a significant and promising segment so we will replace it. In our new compact family we will also bring seven-seat vehicles to market. We see a growing desire for seven-seat vehicles in China and we must satisfy this demand. Will it be a minivan or an SUV? You will have to wait and see. So far you have seen the first new model, the A class, which is really a lovely car and a very substantial product.
Will the EQ compact EV be part of the new A- and B-class family?
No. Battery-powered vehicles will be purpose-built models that all belong to the EQ family.