Mercedes-Benz has decided to drop the A-Class, its most affordable car, from its U.S. lineup after the 2022 model year. Slow sales have led to this decision, as the German brand’s most affordable model peaked at 17,641 units in its launch year, 2019.
Mercedes-Benz confirmed to us that the A-Class is for sure dead after 2022 model year production wraps up. The automaker’s official statement can be read below.
“While the A-Class was extremely well received by our customers since its introduction in 2019, this decision is consistent with our ongoing effort to streamline our product offering strategy. The GLA SUV will take over the A-Class’ position as the entry point into the Mercedes-Benz U.S. product range.”
Our original story continues below.
It was only 3½ years ago that we were enjoying our first drive in the new A-Class, and now a report from Automotive News is spelling the little sedan’s demise. That was quick.
The report cites a dealer memo as its source. Automotive News says it obtained the memo in which Mercedes informed dealers of its plan to drop the A-Class from its lineup in the U.S. after 2022.
A few reasons for the A-Class’ death are cited in the report, but they all have a common theme: sales. The A-Class came out relatively strong in its first year of sales, moving 17,641 units in 2019. Meanwhile, 2021 saw just 8,108 leave dealer lots. This low volume problem is compounded by the lower profit margins for cheaper vehicles like the A-Class versus more expensive SUVs.
It’s not just the decline of small sedan sales hurting the A-Class, but competition from within, as well. Mercedes sells the CLA-Class alongside the A-Class here in the U.S. In this crossover-hungry market, trying to sell two sedans that are similar in size, performance, price and in many other ways is tough business. Culling one of them makes sense, and it’s the slower-selling A-Class that gets the ax.
This news was relatively predictable. Mercedes thinned its A-Class lineup for the 2022 model year by discontinuing the AMG A 35, the A-Class’ only AMG performance model. The A 220 is the only version left this year, so if you were holding out on buying for any reason, the window for doing so is closing.
The same memo to dealers that gave us this news reportedly said that Mercedes will consider the GLA crossover to be its entry-level model in the U.S. going forward. It also confirmed the CLA would continue to be produced for 2023, but didn’t elaborate beyond that.