2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA "Best Launch in 20 Years" says CEO
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, lead by the CLA250, is Mercedes-Benz's "best launch in 20 years," according to Steve Canon, the automaker's U.S. CEO. Mercedes widened its lead over rival BMW in November, aided by the hot-selling CLA. "Our dealers say that they're seeing a lot more floor traffic and many new faces. The increase in our overall model sales indicates that this traffic is benefiting all Mercedes-Benz models," Canon said in a statement to Bloomberg. In a recent letter to dealers, the automaker warns of tight supply until July, as production is already at full capacity. The highly-styled Mercedes-Benz CLA250 starts at $29,900 before delivery, though most models sell several thousand dollars above that figure. Lexus recently acknowledged the success of the CLA, with Lexus head Jeff Bracken saying despite its hot start, Lexus wouldn't build a car at that price level, saying it had Toyota and Scion to handle those sales. We recently drove the CLA250 and the performance-inspired CLA45 AMG, and came away impressed with the value proposition both offer. The 2014 CLA250, which is based on Mercedes-Benz's new compact vehicle architecture, is the first of three front-wheel drive vehicles the automaker plans to sell in the U.S., including the GLA crossover that will be based on the CLA. With a more accessible price of entry, and more aggressive styling than the current Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the automaker has also been able to lure a younger demographic to the brand. The median age of the CLA buyer is 46 years old, versus 54 for the C-Class, and 57 for Mercedes as a brand. Source: Bloomberg
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