Mercedes-Benz USA is expecting a shortage of its GLA compact crossover when it rolls out the vehicle in September due to the segment's increasing popularity. Mercedes-Benz USA chief executive Steve Cannon remarked that supply for the GLA may be tighter than the CLA compact sedan due to the "crossover-crazy market."
Mercedes started selling the CLA in September, and its demand has been very high that supply dropped to as low as nine days -- far from the optimal 45-day supply that the carmaker set. Currently, supply for the CLA is now 30 days, Cannon said.
He said that they expect a similar situation for the GLA, saying that production constraints mean they wouldn’t get as many compact crossovers as they want. "We will not find out where the natural volume is."
According to Cannon, the United States is competing for vehicle allocation with China, where Mercedes is also logging significant demand. He remarked that while the US remains Mercedes' largest market, China may overtake it in 2015.
Last year, Mercedes-Benz USA received some vehicles from Europe, which was in a slump. However, with demand in Europe in a recovery phase, Cannon said they would not get the same allocation this year.
The GLA is targeted towards Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque. The GLA offers a slew of standard equipment like collision prevention assist with autonomous braking, a power liftgate, Bluetooth connectivity, power front seats and chrome roof rails.
Mercedes will start selling the GLA250 4Matic with all-wheel drive in September at a starting price of $34,225. The carmaker will also start selling next month the high-performance GLA45 AMG at a starting price of $49,225.
Mercedes will introduce the base front-wheel-drive GLA250 in the first quarter of 2015 at a starting price of $32,225. All prices include shipping.