With the debut of its new GLE Coupe, Mercedes Benz is betting that 2015 will be the year of the SUV.
The car was unveiled in Detroit on Sunday (January 11), the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said the automaker's Mercedes luxury brand plans four new or redesigned sport utility vehicles this year, expanding its offerings in one of the fastest growing segments in the luxury vehicle market.
"In this market, Mercedes will launch lots of great new products, namely many SUVs, four altogether. So we are very bullish for 2015. U.S. has been the biggest market for us worldwide and will be a very important market in 2015 again," Zetsche said.
Mercedes will also expand to 80 from 75 the number of cars and SUVs with all-wheel drive.
Automakers reported strong December U.S. sales and after a slump in 2006, sales have rebounded as has the economy.
Edmunds.com executive editor Ed Hellwig, explained that going into 2015, falling oil prices will drive consumers back to SUVs and large vehicles.
"People feel comfortable in them. They see them as more practical, more useful and if they can afford to drive something bigger, more spacious, they'll do that. So as oil prices drop they automatically go back to what they're comfortable with. So I think as long as prices stay low the potential for SUVs and trucks is probably better than what we've seen in several years so that could be a big big segment come 2015 and 2016."