Mercedes is looking to cut costs for its next generation A-class and B-class small cars by enlisting the aid of a development partner that will work on platforms and possibly also engines together. The new A-class is expected for delivery in 2011 with the B-class following one year after. Despite the odd name, the B-Class has proven a sales success in overseas markets, managing roughly 120,000 units just one year after introduction. Still, neither of the cars will be arriving in US showrooms anytime soon as the price point would be too low, further diluting the brand.

Either way, Mercedes has big plans for the next generation of its small vehicles and now AutoWeek is reporting that PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is a possible partner. Mercedes could never move as much volume as some of its low priced competitors are achieving, which is why it needs a partner. Currently, both the A- and B-class of cars share a costly and complicated platform that consists of a top and bottom cover with expensive reinforcements in the middle.

The solution would be to share technology with either a French partner or within the DaimlerChrysler group. A Mercedes source claims that “customers won’t spot any difference and will not care whether components are shared with Chrysler or a French company.” This is somewhat true, as in our experience most purchasers of these cars are buying them primarily because of the badge, and not the way the car drives. Thoughts?

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Mercedes Looking For Partner For Its Next Generation A-Class and B-Class

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