This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Mercedes-Benz is expecting to sell quite a few of its new entry-level CLA-Class sedans to U.S. buyers.
Mercedes USA CEO Steve Cannon told Automotive News that once production is in full swing, the brand expects to sell around 30,000 units in the U.S.per year. Similar numbers are anticipated for the platform-sharing GLA small crossover.
“Our only constraint will be global production capacity,” he said.
Last year, Mercedes sold almost 82,000 C-Class compact luxury cars to U.S. customers; a record for the nameplate. While the CLA isn’t expected to reach those volumes immediately, Cannon said the company plans to see it reach the 75,000 unit mark.
With a starting price of $30,825 including delivery, the CLA sets the tone for Mercedes to target a fresh crop of younger buyers who can’t afford the roughly $39,000 base price of a C-Class let alone the expensive option packages.
Average C-Class buyers are 50 years old and Cannon said dropping that age by a decade for the CLA-Class will be a “home run.”
The CLA 250 is already available at U.S. dealers, but Automotive News reports that supply to U.S. stores will be limited this year because of high demand in Europe. Even so, Mercedes has the jump on both Audi and BMW. The four-ring brand will launch its new A3 sedan based on Volkswagen’s modular “MQB” architecture later this year, but a comparable BMW product is still far ahead.
A front-wheel drive competitor to the CLA-Class and A3 is expected from BMW sometime in 2017 sharing underpinnings with the 2014 MINI Cooper. That vehicle will be called a 1 Series while the company will sell its rear-wheel drive coupes currently under that nameplate as the 2 Series.
GALLERY: 2014 Mercedes CLA 250
[Source: Automotive News]
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