Almost since the day that Mercedes-Benz introduced the A-class and then B-class models over a decade ago, the company has been hemming and hawing about whether to offer the cars in the U.S. market. A combination of factors – e.g., unfavorable exchange rates, limited American demand for hatchbacks – conspired to keep both models out of this market, although they have been available in Canada.

With a new generation B-class set to debut in 2011, Mercedes has been taking yet another look at offering the car here. Mercedes has been holding consumer clinics to determine whether to sell the car and, if so, with what body style. A crossover, sedan and a sporty coupe are being shown, but the hatchback apparently is not. If a B-class variant does arrive, we probably won't see it until at least 2012.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd]