Mercedes-Benz aiming for younger buyers with cheaper, more youthful, C Class variants

C350 4MATIC Coupe

Mercedes-Benz is widely seen in the US as an older brand, and for good reason. The average age of a Mercedes buyer in the US, according to Mercedes-Benz, is 53 years old.

While other luxury automakers have attempted to lure in younger buyers with new entry-level models like the Acura ILX and the recently discontinued Lexus HS250h, few have been successful. Now, however, Mercedes is keen to win over the younger demographic.

Last week, Motor Authority reported that Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, confirmed in an interview with USA Today that the company was hard at work producing several variants of the new C Class priced below the current C Class lineup, and hoping to attract successful Gen Xers and Millennials to Mercedes showrooms as a result.

Currently, the C Class Coupe — the entry-level Mercedes in the US — is priced at $37,800. Beneath that, Mercedes plans to add a four-door coupe called the CLA Class; a small crossover called the GLA class; and a convertible called the C Class Cabriolet. The C Class Cabriolet is slated to be the first of the young-at-heart Mercedes to roll out of the factory in time for the 2014 model year.

The least expensive Mercedes convertible currently offered in the US is the E Class Cabriolet, starting just shy of $60,000. The new C Class Cabriolet would go directly against the Volkswagen Eos, which starts at $34,350.

Mercedes isn’t stopping there, however. Cannon also revealed Mercedes USA will add 11 new brand models by 2020, and refresh or replace 19 current models at the same time.

Elsewhere in the world, Mercedes sells dozens of models the US has never seen. The A Class, for example, looks like a Mazda3 that’s been on a radical weight-loss diet.

Automakers predict sales in the subcompact segment of the new car market to double by 2015, with over 800,000 units sold annually in the US. This could well mean that within the next few years, buyers looking for a sporty compact might not look just to Japanese or American automakers, but to Mercedes as well.

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