Lexus Not Considering Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Fighter

By Matthew Askari | December 09, 2013
In the American world of luxury autos, there's a lot of German being spoken, but it wasn't always that way. For 11 years straight, until 2011, Lexus held the American luxury crown, before BMW and Mercedes-Benz ascended. And with new, more accessibly priced models like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA, and the BMW 1 Series, the gap appears like it may only expand. Despite this, Lexus says it will not make a CLA-fighter.
According to a new report in Automotive News, Lexus boss Jeff Bracken says that while the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is off to a robust start, the Japanese luxury automaker won't chase after it. "We will not head down below $30,000, we have Toyota and Scion to handle that price level for us." Bracken was referring to the highly touted CLA250 starting price of $29,900. While that price doesn't include delivery—and most models are equipped to sell several thousand dollars above that figure—it was substantially less than most people in the media thought it would be priced, and brought a major luxury automaker under the $30k mark.
Currently, Lexus' lowest priced model is the CT 200h hybrid which starts at $32,960, while its lowest non-hybrid is the Lexus IS sedan, which starts at $36,860. BMW, Mercedes-Benz's primary competition, offers the BMW 1 Series starting at $32,425, all prices include delivery. Bracken says by not competing with newer, more accessibly priced models, it keeps Lexus in segments "more traditionally associated with luxury." He also said while the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is a large success now, it's too early to tell whether or not those buyers will remain loyal to the brand.
Source: Automotive News (subscription required)