New C-Class to vie with 3 Series for fleet top spot
‘We believe the combination of lower CO2, our price points and the packages we offer make us much stronger in the fleet market,’ the company told news agency Headlineauto.
Traditionally, Mercedes sells around 20,000 C-Class saloons a year in the UK – around 4,000 fewer than BMW manages with the 3 Series, but a similar amount more than Audi records with the A4.
‘We're looking to get closer to that 24,000-25,000 figure for the 3 Series and fleet will play a big part in that because it accounts for 65% of the business,’ said the carmaker. ‘But we still need a healthy retail mix, and the fact that there is no road tax on any version in the first year is an important benefit from the reduction in CO2.’
With CO2 emissions below 130g/km for every model, regardless of trim level or wheel and tyre size, the new C-Class has an advantage over its closest rivals, the 3 Series with EfficientDynamics technologies and Audi's A4 ultra modelss.
Emissions of the new compact Mercedes range start at 103g/km for the diesel-engined C220 BlueTEC SE with manual transmission. This compares with a 109g/km starting point for the comparable A4 ultra and 3 Series EfficientDynamics models and means the Mercedes is one band lower in the company car tax scale, helping to offset its higher list price. In September a diesel hybrid with emissions below 100g/km will add another string to the Mercedes bow.
Mercedes has upgraded the equipment of the new C-Class and targeted the standard specification and option packages directly at business users in an effort to boost fleet sales.
Bluetooth, a seven-inch colour display, touchpad control, cruise control, digital radio and media interface are fitted to every model, while the upper two trim grades have satellite navigation. The entry-level SE versions are pre-wired for sat-nav to be fitted as an option.