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Mercedes-Benz hints at C300 BlueTec Hybrid price

Green team: The C300 BlueTec Hybrid will have the same drivetrain as the S300 limo that launched in Australia last week.

Mercedes-Benz says C300 BlueTec Hybrid price to take advantage of LCT threshold

23 Jun 2014

MERCEDES-BENZ Australia has given its best indication yet of the price of the C300 BlueTec Hybrid due to arrive in local showrooms September.

Speaking to GoAuto at last week's S300 BlueTec Hybrid launch, Mercedes-Benz Australia senior manager of public relations and corporate communications David McCarthy said that the C300 hybrid would be “well under a hundred grand” and that the luxury car tax threshold would be a major factor in pricing the car.

The threshold for vehicles with fuel consumption more than seven litres per 100km is $60,316 and for vehicles that are more efficient than this, the threshold rises to $75,375. The tax is 33 percent of the amount of the car’s price above the threshold.

“I think the C300 will be priced to take advantage of luxury car tax thresholds,” Mr McCarthy said.

“We haven’t signed the price off yet – but that is a factor. About 80 per cent of our range is not subject to LCT or benefits from the 7L/100km limit – it enables us to bring cars to Australia at a more attractive price.”

A C300 hybrid priced at close to $75,000 could potentially place it in the middle of the new-generation C-Class range.

Pricing for the new C-Class is yet to be announced, but the current line-up starts at $59,900, plus on-road costs for the C200 and tops out at $156,545 for the C63 AMG Estate.

The new C-Class range will begin arriving in August this year, followed by the launch of the C300 hybrid in September.

The C300 hybrid will be the third diesel-electric car to join Mercedes-Benz’s Australian line-up within a year, with the mid-size E300 hybrid joining the range in July 2013, while the S300 hybrid limo was launched last week.

The C300 will have the same drivetrain that is used in the aforementioned E- and S-Class hybrids – a 2.1-litre 150kW/500Nm four-cylinder turbo diesel engine combined with a 20kW/250Nm electric motor.

“We have some good ambitions for the C300,” Mr McCarthy said. “Performance-wise it’s going to be pretty interesting and fuel economy, we haven’t got that figure yet but I would hope it comes in at 3.8-3.9L/100km.”

As for sales Mr McCarthy there was opportunity for some volume, but it is unlikely to be the top-selling variant.

“I think you’d have to do a couple of hundred a year. But let’s see.”“The E300 was released almost a year ago now, and that’s doing OK. We predicted originally I think a hundred or so sales and we’re getting close to that in a full 12 months – it’s actually getting greater acceptance and one of the reasons is the car doesn’t look any different to a standard E-Class,” he said.

Mr McCarthy says that while he thought Toyota’s uniquely designed Prius was a good strategy from a marketing perspective, Mercedes' aim is to “normalise” the hybrid car by keeping its exterior and interior design the same as other variants in the range.

“One of the deliberate things was we didn’t want the car to look different –just a badge that says BlueTec Hybrid is the only way to identify it, otherwise you could think it was anything.

“The course we’re taking is to normalise hybrids, people are buying them not to make a statement on the street so much but more as a statement to themselves and to people within their network. We’ve quite deliberately taken this course.”

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