Mercedes A-Class lives to 2026 as firm scales back EV-only plans

Mercedes Benz A200 in yellow front three quarters
Mercedes Benz A200 in yellow front three quarters

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is set to be produced well into 2026, plans to retire the fourth-generation hatchback as soon as this year having been cancelled.

News of the move comes after Mercedes-Benz confirmed it was abandoning its EV-only stance in favour of what its CEO Ola Källenius describes as a more “flexible” model strategy, under which it will continue to produce ICE models based on existing platforms well into the next decade.

The firm had been preparing to make its line-up fully electric by 2030, as part of a so-called “electric first” strategy. However, Källenius has now revealed that its latest studies project PHEVs and EVs will likely make up just half of its global sales by then.


“I don’t think anyone had ever thought that the once-in-a-century transformation of the auto industry will be a straight line. There will be peaks and troughs,” he said.

Källenius pointed to the ongoing price disparity as one reason for the slower-than-expected take-up of EVs, suggesting they will remain more expensive than their ICE equivalents for some time.

According to Mercedes' studies, demand for EVs will mainly be in the small and medium car segments.

Cost parity between EVs and ICE vehicles “is many years away”, Källenius said. “You can see that in the pricing.”

In preparation for the continuation of A-Class production, Mercedes has altered its Rastatt manufacturing plant in Germany to enable it to produce cars atop the MFA compact car platform and its electric-biased MMA successor.

The MMA platform has been conceived as a hybrid structure capable of accommodating ICE, PHEV and EV drivetrains.

It will first be used for the third-generation CLA compact saloon, the first prototype for which was completed in September last year, Autocar has learned.

ICE variants of the new CLA are planned to be powered by Mercedes' M282 petrol engine. To be manufactured by Geely in China, the new four-cylinder unit is also set to be used in future Geely, Lynk&Co and Volvo models.

Electric variants of the new CLA will use either a single- or dual-motor powertrain, supplied by a choice of different batteries giving ranges of up to 466 miles.