With the arrival of the B Class, Mercedes is well on the way to commandeering half the alphabet to describe its exploding range of new cars. We have the A Class, the new B, the C, E, S and CLS saloons, the SL and SLK sports cars, the ML four-wheel drive, the CL and CLK coupes, the V Class MPV and the SLR supercar. Shortly, an R Class - a cross between estate car, MPV and four-wheel drive - and a renewed heavy-duty off-roader called the G Class will be joining this phalanx of machinery.
Apart from the sheer scale of its range, Mercedes has become well known lately for quality troubles that have fouled a reputation founded on dependability.
The company has acknowledged its failings and is battling to overcome them, but that hasn't stopped it applying bold price tags to its products, the new B Class suffering particularly from this policy.