Mercedes: We’re going to beat BMW to Number One slot as E-Class unveiled
Mercedes plan to be the world’s biggest-selling luxury car maker by next year – three years ahead of schedule.
And today they unveiled a car (for the Irish market) that is pivotal to that target - the E-Class saloon.
Showing an aggressive new approach on the back of a wave of new models – and a sweep of updates – they have BMW firmly in their sights. That’s after claiming they overtook Audi last year.
After eight new models and six facelifts in 2015, they are planning six new cars and as many facelifts this year.
And the new E-Class, midsize saloon, is regarded as a major arrival in all markets.
It was unveiled for the Irish market today at a time when many buyers are thinking about a 162-reg from July 1 next.
It is the best example to date of what Mercedes say is their new plan to have cars equipped much more closely to what buyers want rather than, as was the case, of people picking and choosing a whole host of options – and waiting for their car.
All new E-Classes will have 9-Gtronic as standard. There is a new suspension. And there will be a brand new 2-litre diesel (154bhp).
Standard spec (for the Avantgarde 2.2-litre diesel 192bhp) includes full leather, heated front seats, parking pilot (park itself) reverse camera, Brake Assist etc.
They reckon the standard spec is worth €7,000 over the old one.
But with a start price of €52,850 they claim the cost has come down by €850 on the old one. The same will apply to the 200d (€50,550 - down €560) when it gets here for the 171-reg period.
They plan to double E-Class sales in next 18 months – and there's a big number of other new cars to come right across the board. The E-Class has sold 13m in its 10 generations of existence.
It looks like Generation 11 is going to be the most important of them all.