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Mercedes aims to capture half of the upper-premium segment with new S class

Car will be touted as 'safest in the world'

Stuttgart, Germany. Mercedes will market its new S class as "the safest car in the world." The new-generation S class, which will be unveiled at the IAA in Frankfurt in September, will offer a dozen technological innovations. Safety innovations available with the car include night vision with infrared technology, Brake Assist Plus with close-range radar and the second-generation of Mercedes' Pre-Safe occupant protection. "We expect that it will earn five stars at the EuroNCAP safety performance test," Joachim Kramer, head of product management for the S class, told Automobilwoche. Kramer expects the new S class to capture 50 percent of sales in the upper-premium segment in 2006. That would work out to about 75,000 units. Last year the luxury segment had a volume of 150,000 cars. The new S class goes on sale in Germany on Sept. 24 with prices starting at 70,000 euros. It will debut in Japan in October and in the US in January 2006.

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