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Mercedes performs green-strategy U-turn

Date: 18 March 2009

Mercedes has switched its green-car strategy to offer fuel and CO2-saving technology across a host of models rather than just offering a single dedicated eco-car in each model range.

Speaking at last year's Geneva motor show Mercedes' world-wide boss Dieter Zetsche hinted that the cost of introducing green tech was the reason the firm had opted to go down the individual green model route like VW, rather than cutting CO2 on all products such as BMW has done with its Efficient Dynamics package of measures.

Zetsche said: "We can't make changes on all our models at once. We will have very reasonable pricing for this and not every customer wants these changes,"

When asked at the time if his strategy relied on people buying the low CO2 models to hit EU emissions targets Zetsche added: "We think we can influence the customers, and have expectations of sales based on research."

However, Mercedes has now switched its strategy to badge all but its least efficient cars 'Blue Efficiency' as new ranges are introduced.

Speaking at the 2009 Geneva motor show, Mercedes' UK president Wilfred Steffen, said: "Blue Efficiency is our over-riding brand for eco technology. It's not a basket of technology, it's just a theme for reducing consumption and lowering CO2."

Mercedes is badging all new E-class models Blue Efficiency, bar the V8 powered cars.

"Traditionally, we communicate the number of cylinders and power; in time torque and CO2 will take over.

"Engine size used to be a status symbol on the rear of the car. The number on the back doesn't do the engine size [for example, the 250CDI has a 2.1-litre engine] but where the car sits in the range."