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.
Formed by its dynamic design language and sporty proportions, the new Mercedes CLA cannot really be mistaken for another vehicle.
Its unmistakable look is made possible by a number of stunning elements like its bonnet with powerdomes as well as the diamond radiator grille. It is flanked by headlamps with light modules and LEDs that have been laid out in such a way that the daytime driving lights and indicators exhibit the so-called "flare effect." This flare effect is set to become the CLA’s lighting signature that would underscore its dynamic looks up front.
Mercedes considers the CLA as s further development of the CLS, evident on a number of design details that link the two vehicles. These details include the three prominent lines on the sides. A dropping line defines the flow linking the front structural edge to the rear end. The second features a line that crosses the shoulder muscle just above the rear axle, while the third line runs -- in a sweeping curve -- from the front wheel towards the rear.
Meanwhile, the rear end of the Mercedes CLA doesn’t only highlight its width, but also conveys a new level of power and sportiness, as defined by the interplay between convex and concave surfaces. When viewed from the rear, the CLA exudes a coupe-style character, thanks to the curvature of its rear window and gently sloping contour of the roof. Likewise, the drawn-in C-pillars, the muscular shoulder, and the rear wheel arch linings help convey the car’s athletic nature.