Mercedes-Benz outsold Audi by just over a thousand cars and SUVs in November 2013, thanks to the introduction of a new line of compacts. Mercedes logged an 11-percent rise in sales in November to 133,441 units, while Audi posted a 6.8-percent surge to 132,050 vehicles. However, the two German luxury carmakers were still outsold by the defending global leader BMW, which grew 3 percent in November to 149,663 vehicles.
For the 11-month period, BMW brand sold 1.49 million vehicles, reflecting an 8-percent surge. It is barely ahead of Audi, which said that it logged a 7-percent rise in deliveries to 1.44 million units. Third-placer Mercedes saw its sales climb 11 percent to 1.32 million in the first 11 months of the year, and has outpaced both Audi and BMW for five straight months since July 2013. Boosting the figures for Mercedes is the 54-percent surge in demand for compact models like the four-door CLA coupe and A-class hatchback.
After launching the CLA in April, Mercedes revamped its S-class flagship sedan and upgraded the E-class sedan in 2013. "The current model cycle is very beneficial for Mercedes," according to Sascha Gommel, an analyst at Commerzbank AG. Gommel remarked that Audi and BMW have to invest in new production capacities and the development of new models, noting that Mercedes' investment cycle has already reached its peak and is now entering a phase of outperformance.
All three German carmakers are aiming to log sales records this year backed by strong demand from China and the US. Ian Robertson, head of sales and marketing at BMW, remarked that conditions are still challenging in Europe and that they expect sales to continue to develop positively over the next months, adding that their target of record sales for 2013 is “now within reach.”
Refined edges and rigidly drawn surfaces mark out the exterior design of the newly-built A-Class. The continuous interplay amongst concave and convex surfaces makes a trademark play of light, especially at the edges of the vehicle, which add to its one-of-a-kind look.
Typical components of the elongated, energetic front include its detailed V-shape, the distinct headlamps, the radiator grille with central Mercedes star and double slats to either side of the star, as well as the extra air intakes on the sides. The "dropping line" obvious in the side silhouette vanishes towards the car’s front end. The design of the headlamps, along with the configuration of the light functions within them, is a vital component of the design concept.
The light modules and LEDs behind the headlamp cover glass have been contrived in such a way as to make the trademark "flare effect" for the daytime driving lights and indicators. The so-called "flare" is comprised of the element line within the headlamp, the LED modules for the daytime running lamps and the bulb sets for the indicators. This classic effect provides the vehicle its vigorous look thus defining a fresh, young face for Mercedes.
The impeccable interplay of dynamic design and world-class aerodynamics is nowhere more evident than in the roof, with its sleek surfaces and rigid, arcing bend. The silhouette unveils sleek, gliding lines ending in a level edge. The roof spoiler, which conveniently conceals every one of the aerials, gives an additional lively touch and offers structure to the roof assembly. The beltline ascends to the rear to form a pronounced wedge-shape.