Mercedes Will Keep Making Its Cheapest Gas Car Because EVs Are Still Expensive

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Mercedes has been overly optimistic about the rise in popularity of electrified vehicles, claiming hybrids and EVs would account for 50 percent of its sales by 2025. However, that’s unlikely to happen since the new goal for 2024 is to reach just 21 percent of total shipments. Facing the harsh reality, the German luxury marque will no longer kill off its cheapest gasoline car this year.

The A-Class was supposed to bow out in 2024 but now it has had its life cycle extended well into 2026, according to Autocar. Not sold in the United States, the compact hatchback is effectively the entry point into the Mercedes lineup, kicking off at €37,401 (nearly $41,000) in its domestic market Deutschland. Last month, CEO Ola Kallenius admitted price parity between combustion engine cars and pure electric models is still “many years away.” The executive went on to mention that customers can see that in the price gap between an ICE car and an EV.

Mercedes is working on a new family of compact cars and those too will have combustion engines. The CLA, CLA Shooting Brake, GLA, and GLB are all getting replacements on a newly developed MMA platform that will support gas engines as well as entirely electric drivetrains. The company hasn’t said a word about whether the A-Class hatchback, A-Class sedan, and the B-Class minivan will be renewed. We do know there are plans for a “Little G” SUV on this new architecture.

Mercedes thinks plug-in hybrids and EVs will represent up to 50 percent of total shipments by 2030. It’s a big change compared to a projection made a couple of years ago when the firm said it would be completely electric in some markets by the end of the decade. Based on the newly established targets, we can deduce the company intends to keep making cars with gasoline engines in the 2030s as a response to a weaker-than-expected adoption of EVs.

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In a document prepared for investors, the Stuttgart-based automaker says it’s “taking the necessary steps to go all electric” but recognizes that “customers and market conditions will set the pace of the transformation.” In other words, if you want to buy a gas car in 2031 with the famed three-pointed star, Mercedes will happily oblige.

There are signs the European Union’s sales ban on new cars with emissions in 2035 might not actually come into effect. Porsche Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke recently said there are “a lot of discussions right now around the end of the combustion engine. I think it could be delayed.” If that happens, which wouldn’t come as a big shock, the ICE age will be prolonged.

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