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Mercedes to Launch “Baby G-Class” Next Year


#Nissan #Daimler #MercedesBenz

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Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz unit plans to add a small crossover vehicle in the U.S. late next year, the company told dealers earlier this month at a meeting in Atlanta.

Dubbed the “baby G-Class,” the 2020 model, to be called the GLB, will slot between the current GLA and GLC crossovers. The new vehicle will be built on Mercedes’ front-wheel-drive MFA2 platform, which also carries the other small crossovers and the redesigned A-Class small car.

Dealer sources tell Automotive News that the GLB will be a five-seater, with an optional seven-seat configuration. The vehicle is described as boxy and more utilitarian than the sporty GLA.

Mercedes is expected to build the GLB at the joint venture plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, that it shares with Nissan Motor Co. The facility also will assemble the U.S. version of the new A-Class sedan due later this year. The hatchback version of the car won’t be offered in the U.S.

In addition to the GLB, Mercedes plans to launch revamped versions of the GLE midsize crossover and GLS large SUV next year. Dealers say Mercedes expects crossover/SUVs and light trucks will account for 60% of its North American sales mix by 2020, compared with 40% in 2014.