CLA helps Mercedes-Benz gain ground on Bmw and Audi

Article by Anita Panait, on October 12, 2013

Mercedes-Benz posted a 16-percent year-on-year surge in luxury vehicle sales in September 2013 to 143,000 cars and sports utility vehicles. With the strong sales results in September, Mercedes logged a 10-percent jump in sales in the first nine months of 2013 to 1.06 million cars and SUVs. Mercedes managed to outperform premium sales rivals and fellow German carmakers BMW and Audi during the month. 

The BMW brand recorded an 8-percent hike in deliveries in September to 158,000, and a 9-percent rise in the first nine months of 2013 to 1.21 million units. Audi gained 10 percent in September, contributing to an 8-percent jump in sales in the first nine months of the year. In comparison, Mercedes' sales in the nine-month period is around 88 percent of BMW's this year, from 87 percent in 2012. Audi’s sales in the nine-month period, meanwhile, are around 98 percent of BMW’s.

The launch of the CLA coupe during the period contributed much to Mercedes’ sales, helping drive the demand to almost double for the carmaker compact models. Mercedes, BMW and Audi are all aiming for record global deliveries in 2013, helped by new models like the CLA, the BMW 4-series coupe and the sedan version of Audi A3. Frank Biller, an analyst at LBBW, remarked that Mercedes “is getting some tailwinds from its model cycle," noting that “young products are pushing sales."

He expects Mercedes to post improved profit margins in the third quarter, allowing it to close the gap with rivals’ earnings. The German carmakers are concentrating their expansions in China, the United States and South America to offset the current slump in Europe. Deliveries in China in the first nine months of 2013 jumped 9 percent at Mercedes, 21 percent at Audi and 20 percent at BMW.

That the four-door CLA has that unique appearance is due to the wonderfully athletic proportions and the impressively dynamic design language. Helping this new coupé from Mercedes-Benz achieve that as well is the excellent interplay of the convex surfaces with that of the concave ones. The new CLA has a number of stunning features like the bonnet which have been fixed on the front section.

It is on this bonnet that one can see not only the powerdomes but even the diamond radiator grille. Placed behind the cover glass of the headlamp are the LEDs and the light modules. Further, the lights have been positioned in a manner to give both the indicators and daytime driving lights that distinguishing “flare effect.”

Meanwhile, the light signet allows the new CLA to showcase the energetic look while becoming a new face for the brand. Its rear section has been designed to help highlight the width. In addition, this area also displays athleticism and power mainly owing to how the convex edges and surfaces interact with their concave counterparts.

Even from the rear section, the new CLA gets a coupé-style quality as a result of the prominent and signature curvature of the window in the rear combined with the roof and its gently sloping curve. In this same area, customers are sure to get that sporty feel because of how well the muscle above the wheel arch linings in the rear work with the drawn-in C-pillars.

Mercedes-Benz revealed that there are different details on the CLA that when looked closed on a design level, shows just how far the development of the CLS, one of the brand’s modern classic, has gone. Thus looking at it from the side, the CLA gets the needed structure due to the three pronounced lines. The first line begins at the front structural edge before going above the wings and then flowing to the rear section in that well-known dropping line.

Second line is leaner and goes across the entire shoulder muscle that is over the rear axle. Finally, the third line starts in the front and then sweeps into a curve to the rear. The combination of these three lines helps the side profile display dynamism and depth.

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