There will be shortage in supply of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan until the second quarter of 2014 as the model remains very popular. "Yeah, inventory is tight," remarked Mercedes-Benz USA chief executive Steve Cannon, adding that sales in 2013 exceeded expectations. "The fact that we sold faster than we expected is a very good sign," he said.
He remarked that dealers will get higher allocations as 2014 progresses, with the supply situation easing in the second quarter. Cannon said that the success of the CLA won't help US dealers get more CLA since production is tight around the world.
Mercedes rolled out the CLA in September 2013, with 14,113 sold at the close of in 2013. It is the first vehicle in a new segment of European compact luxury vehicles that will be joined by the Audi A3 sedan in April, the Mercedes GLA crossover in September and the BMW Active Tourer crossover in 2015.
While Mercedes would not disclose its CLA targets in the US, Cannon said the American market won’t receive a larger allocation until June at the earliest. "We are working from a global production standpoint to get as much out of the factory as we possibly can," Cannon said. He noted that after the first quarter, “the pipeline opens up” and supply will be much better in the third quarter.
Mercedes is building the CLA at a new Daimler site in Hungary where capacity might have to be expanded due to rising demand. Due to the CLA's success, Mercedes is considering building its next generation in North America, possibly in Mexico as part of a joint venture with Nissan. The Mercedes CLA , tagged at $30,825, including shipping, is appealing consumers who are on average 11 years younger than the average Mercedes buyer.