Mercedes-Benz widens US sales lead over BMW in November 2013

Article by Christian A., on December 4, 2013

Mercedes-Benz has padded its luxury-vehicle lead over the BMW brand in the United States in November, boosted by strong sales of the new entry-level CLA coupe. In a statement, Mercedes said it sold 3,623 CLAs in the $29,900 car’s second full month of availability. Mercedes posted a 13-percent year-on-year jump in US sales to 34,376 vehicles in November.

Mercedes’ lead over BMW so far this year is now 7,610 vehicles, from 4,986 through October. Mercedes is targeting to unseat BMW as the best-selling luxury carmaker in the United States, although Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche remarked in July that he expected his company to come up short again this year.

BMW, meanwhile, logged a 1.7-percent rise in sales in November to 31,752 vehicles. BMW logged sales hikes of 22 percent for its 3-series and 4-series, and 13 percent for its X1 compact SUV. The numbers, however, don’t include Daimler’s cargo vans and Smart cars and BMW’s Mini brand, since they aren’t luxury vehicles.

In terms of sales, BMW was the leader in 2012, but in terms of vehicle registrations, Mercedes was the top-ranked brand, according to researcher R.L. Polk & Co. In the first nine months of 2013, US owners had registered 216,724 new BMW vehicles and 206,952 from Mercedes, according to Polk.

Lexus logged a 13-percent surge in sales in November -- boosted by a 99-percent gain for its entry-level IS sedan -- to 25,611 units and a 12-percent climb to 239,090 for the year, Toyota said in a statement. Cadillac, meanwhile, posted an 11-percent rise in sales in November to 16,172 units and a 25-percent jump in the year so far to 164,378.

In terms of design, there are various details on the CLA that show that it is a further development of the CLS, a well-known Mercedes-Benz modern classic. Looked at on its side, the use of three pronounced lines is what gives this vehicle structure. These lines also give the side profile that dynamism and added depth. The first of these lines is one that begins in the front wheels and extends in a sweeping curve all the way to the rear. Then there is that sinewy line that goes across the whole shoulder muscle that is on top of the rear axle.

Finally, the third line can be seen on the structural edge on the front and above the wings. This one flows to the rear section through a characteristic dropping line. The proportions are unmistakable sporty with the dynamic design language being powerful. When combined with how the convex surfaces interplay with the concave surfaces, you get a four-door coupé that has a truly unique look.

There are a number of striking features on the CLA and one of these is the bonnet that has been imbedded in the vehicle’s front end. The front section itself shows powerdomes as well as the diamond radiator grille. One can see that behind the cover glass of the headlamps are the LEDs and the light modules. The light modules and LEDs have all been arranged in a manner that they result in that well-known “flare effect” for the model’s indicators and daytime driving lights.

It is this light signet that defines that energetic look while aiming to be the new face of the brand. For the rear section, it has been formed in such a way to put focus on the width and thus allow it to emit athleticism and power. Its main feature is the interplay of the concave and convex surfaces and edges. Because of the signature curvature of the rear window, made more prominent, plus the gently sloping roof curve, the new CLA gets a coupé-style quality even on the rear section.

That athletic feel on the rear is also due to the drawn-in C-pillars that are paired with the shoulder muscle on top of the wheel arch linings in the rear. Framing the tail lights are the shoulders’ muscular lines which go all the way to the rear end. Meanwhile the lights are oriented in a horizontal manner, highlighting the visual and powerful width of the rear. The light functions also have that arrow-style arrangement.

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