Mercedes-Benz USA sees scarcity of GLA compact crossover

Article by Christian A., on August 13, 2014

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.

Mercedes-Benz’s design philosophy -- sensual clarity as an expression of modern luxury – is always the focus of designers when penning new vehicles. This design philosophy aims to create smooth surfaces and clear contours that convey both high-tech nature and emotional appeal. Through core design values of Tradition, Emotion and Progression, designers were able to reflect sensual clarity. They use these aspects as their guides in creating a new design, as accentuated differently on each model.

Through this design philosophy, Mercedes was able to connect seemingly opposite themes like modernity and avant-garde as well as tradition and progression. Mercedes has given each model series a role and a specific character – all depending on the traits that the design focuses. Despite the differences in each series, every model is always recognizable as a Mercedes, thanks to new stylistic developments and classical styling elements that the brand has been known for.

Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design at Daimler AG, remarked that the stunning Mercedes GLA – captivating with its off-road proportions -- is an embodiment of the premium brand’s progressive thinking. He quipped that the clearly defined surfaces of the GLA convey both power and serenity, and the carmaker was able infuse both emotional appeal and clarity into the new SUV.

Since the GLA is an SUV, it combines the design values of Progression and Tradition. It is an all-round vehicle that features signature Mercedes SUV genes, as infused with more youth and subtle drama. Its vivid charm is defined by its vehicle body, large wheel arches and low greenhouse as well as its clearly defined surfaces, sharp lines and sculptured contours.

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