Mercedes has announced that it fully expects its latest compact SUV model, the GLC, to generate higher sales than the GLK it will replace. This is due to the introduction of additional comfort features, an overall softer design and the availability of right-hand drive in key markets. Mercedes has focused on improving on the boxy GLK by working on a more car-like design that will appeal to a wider demographic and attract more potential buyers.
The GLC will offer the same air-suspension that is available on the C and S class models and allow the vehicle’s suspension to easily adapt to the prevailing conditions. The GLC has been designed to offer unrivalled efficiency, comfort, safety and driver’s assistance. In order to create sales opportunities denied to its predecessor, the GLC will be marketed in right-hand drive markets including the UK, Australia and South Africa.
When the GLK was manufactured, it was not engineered for right-hand drive markets as Mercedes were unclear on how successful the model would be. They now have a much clearer sense of the potential of the market due to the high volume of GLK sales as well as the market success of competitors such as the BMW X3 and Volvo XC60. Research carried out by IHS Automotive has predicted the sale of £145,000 GLCs in 2016, its first sales year. The model is based on the rear-wheel design of the C class line and is 120mm longer and 50mm wider than the GLK. By extensively using aluminium Mercedes has been able to reduce the weight of the GLC by 80kg in comparison with the GLK whilst simultaneously increasing body stiffness and effectively reducing harshness, vibrations and noise.
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