MB could learn a little from Porsche here.
Since going on sale this summer, Porsche's four-cylinder-powered Macan has reached 40 percent of the compact crossover's sales mix, surpassing expectations. And Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellmer expects the four-cylinder's mix to stay at that level.
"Eighty percent of the customers that have bought that car previously didn't have a Porsche -- that is a lot," Zellmer told Automotive News. "So we are actually able, with that car, to onboard new customers into the brand, which is exactly what we are always trying to do. It works really well."
The four-cylinder Macan, with its turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine, arrived in U.S. dealerships in July, becoming the brand's entry-level crossover in the U.S. Before it went on sale, a leader on Porsche's dealer advisory board had estimated it would be responsible for only about 20 percent of the Macan's mix.
The Macan became Porsche's highest-volume nameplate this year, passing the Cayenne midsize crossover. Through November, Macan sales were up 44 percent to 17,536 vehicles.
Zellmer didn't provide the Macan's overall conquest rate. He said around 80 percent of Macan buyers were new to the brand when the vehicle was introduced in 2014. Then the conquest rate gradually decreased.
The lower-priced four-cylinder Macan now gives Porsche another way to reach newcomers.
Zellmer said, "We're rather happy to see that conquest rate."