Mercedes-Benz has successful shed the gas-guzzler label on two models for the 2012 model year. The 2011 U.S fuel-economy guide showed 12 Mercedes models were subject to the “gas guzzler tax”. That has now dropped to 10. Models expected to escape the tax for 2012 are the CLS550 and CLS63 AMG. Both are redesigned and boast new engines that feature improved fuel economy.
The current regulation calls for auto makers to achieve a fleet-wide goal of 35.5 mpg (6.6 L/100 km) by 2016. However, there is growing interest in a goal of 62 mpg (3.8 L/100 km) by 2025.
In addition to eliminating two models from the gas-guzzler list, Mercedes says it also has reduced the amount of tax on five 2011 models: the S600, S65 AMG, CL600, CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG.
Stephen Cannon, vice president-marketing, Mercedes-Benz U.S.A, said, The elimination or reduction of the gas-guzzler tax is not a deal-clincher in the showroom. “It becomes less of an aggravation,” he says.
“Gas-guzzler’s got a negative connotation, so even though (buyers) are not necessarily looking for a compact car to make their ‘green’ statement, they don’t want to make the opposite statement that says, ‘(Pollution) doesn’t impact me and I’m not concerned about it.’ To be able to remove that is a benefit for the brand and a benefit for the consumer.” The ’12 CLS550 and CLS63 AMG start at $71,300 and $94,900, respectively, so would-be buyers generally can afford the levy. But that doesn’t mean they are not environmentally conscious, Cannon says.
[Source: Wards Auto]