Demand for Mercedes-Benz CLA may lead to lower supply in 2014

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 13, 2013

Higher demand for the $29,900 Mercedes-Benz CLA will lead to "tight inventories and low days supply" from February through June 2014, the carmaker told its dealers in the United States. In a Dec. 9 letter to dealers, Mercedes said its CLA's plant is already at working full capacity, and production should support demand by July.

"This is our best launch in 20 years," according to Steve Cannon, chief of Mercedes' US sales. He said that the CLA has "been a phenomenal success right out of the gate." Thanks to the gains posted by the CLA in November, Mercedes managed to widen its US lead over BMW in the month. Mercedes logged a 14-percent hike in deliveries in the first 11 months of 2013 to post a 7,610-vehicle lead.

While Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche said in July that he expected Mercedes to come up short again in the race for US sales supremacy in 2013, figures had the carmaker poised to end BMW's two-year reign. Through the CLA, Mercedes is able entice younger US buyers, according to the letter to dealers.

Mercedes said that the median age for the CLA is 46, compared with 54 for C-Class buyers and 57 for the brand. Mercedes spokeswoman Donna Boland confirmed the letter. "Our dealers say that they're seeing a lot more floor traffic and many new faces" due to the CLA, Cannon said. He remarked that the increase in their overall model sales indicates that increased showroom traffic is benefiting all Mercedes-Benz models.

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