By on December 16, 2013

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Due to high demand from customers jumping aboard the CLA bandwagon, Mercedes-Benz has warned dealers in the United States that supply of the new four-door coupe will be limited for the first half of 2014.

The popularity of the CLA helped the Stuttgart automaker widen its lead in the U.S. over the Bavarians at BMW while also bringing in a younger demo to the showroom; the median age of a CLA lessee is 46, while 57 is the age of majority for Mercedes overall.

In the meantime, supply of the front-driven coupe will be tight up through June 2014 as the factory screwing them together is at maximum capacity.

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45 Comments on “Mercedes to U.S. Dealers: Expect Fewer CLAs For Now...”


  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    I guess there are more posers out there than I expected. Who else would purchase this underpowered, overweight, overpriced pseudo-luxury piece of crap?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      What model would you consider to be a “real” Mercedes?

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      “I guess there are more posers out there than I expected. Who else would purchase this underpowered, overweight, overpriced pseudo-luxury piece of crap?”

      The same kind of words can be used to describe a lot of cars. For instance, why buy a Mini Cooper and not a V6 Sienna? The latter probably could reach 60mph even quicker.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      > I guess there are more posers out there than I expected.

      I agree. I have a saying:

      There are two types of people in the world – those who are, and those who wannabe.

      And the number of wannabes out there has long since reached critical mass.

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      I am not defending the CLA but it would be nice, for once, to hear someone bashing this car based on some knowledge. To say that a 200 hp car is underpowered is just BS talk of a pimpled teenager. How about its structure, do you know anything about its details? Crash results? Suspension technology? Do you know anything about this car aside from the glossy posters?

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        I was just along for the ride. Clickedty-clickedty went old girls heels on the floor of the MB dealership. She does have a weakness for German iron, currently driving a used A6. Test drive fandango of copying licenses occurs. Remember this a 35k car. Interior is OK, hitting an on-ramp to the beltway is OK. Everything is fine and old girl wants. Happy shiny salesman gloms unto us upon return. In a dumba*s move salesman tries to engage me in conversation. I look at him and tell him talk to her. Digging a deeper hole, salesman asked her if she wants to lease. Sweet smile as she says I’d never do that. Salesman tries to recover asking her if she’ll need help with financing. With a look that could melt icebergs she replies that won’t be an issue. Salesman throws his Hail Mary and asks her if she saw anything on the lot she likes. She pulls a card out of her purse and says call me when the 4matics come out. We did a final walk around on one sitting on the lot. She smiled and said I want to drive one of these to NYC and Chapel Hill. With a grin that portends of upcoming storms she says she wants the illuminated hood ornament because it’s so white trash. Bottom line: haters are gonna hate, you’ll be seeing these in reserved parking spots.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Shortage? Why am I thinking $500 floor mats and an additional $950 for pin-striping? Or in flat out dealer stealing: Additional Dealer Markup. People will pay and be happy to have a Mercedes. MB Purists will wring their hands and gnash their teeth.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      we are used to $2,000 delivery and $2,000 metallic paint and $2,000 automatic (who buys a manual Mercedes except those funny euros)

      add to that mandatory technology and convenience packaging

      i’m sure every manufacturer is jealous of demand outstripping supply

  • avatar

    Normally I don’t really believe people shopping for a new car would cross shop German luxury cars with non-German cars, but I could see someone cross shopping the CLA with:

    The Azera
    The MKZ
    The MKS
    The ATS
    The CTS
    The C-class

    And every other car that costs less than $50,000 when that’s your budget.

    People who prefer the BMW or Audi name however probably wouldn’t.

    If I was a woman- about 5 feet tall- I’d have one. It’s like a High-end Sonata.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      “It’s like a High-end Sonata.”

      Bingo. If you’re looking at a fully loaded Accord, Camry, Passat, etc. then a CLA should definitely be in your wheel house, especially if you don’t need the extra room of those aforementioned cars.

      Per Mercedes, they’re seeing a lot of conquest sales from Honda and Toyota – something they never really expected.

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        It will be interesting to see what the mid to long-term reliability of these cars is, and whether the Toyota/Honda people will be willing to put up with higher repair costs and worse reliability if/when that happens.

        Or maybe they will all just lease it, drive it like they stole it and not care about long term reliability.

        • 0 avatar
          carlisimo

          If they turn out to be unreliable or expensive to run, those buyers will go back to Honda and Toyota and be less likely than before to try any other brands. Bad news for everyone else.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’m in the midst of setting up a JV in China right now where our company will overlay facsimile CLA bodies (three pointed star and all) onto Toyota Camry LE chassis’ & drivetrains, and will then sell them for $25k.

            Comparatively equipped, an actual CLA would cost $10,000 to $12,000 more and be 1/2 as reliable.

        • 0 avatar
          J.Emerson

          Reliability doesn’t matter to people who lease. Pretty much anybody can build a car that goes for 3 years/36,000 miles without major headaches these days.

  • avatar
    shaker

    This will definitely suck in the 3-year lease bunch who think Caddys are beneath them.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Previously on the show known as “The Battle of the Luxury Brands,” we saw the introduction of the “Certified Pre-Owned” C-classes, 3-series, etc. as being the “entry level” product supply.

    A CPO C-class costs just the same as a CLA, has about the same warranty, and more room.

    Even Harley-Davidson has gotten into the “bargain priced products targeted towards millenials” with their new bikes.

    My perspective now is that if it has factory-equipped tires, the marketing strategy is more interesting than the product these days. You can buy an “economy car” that’s just as fast as the muscle cars from the days of yore, and the new products don’t fall apart in 30,000 miles, or rust into nothing in 40,000 miles, or collapse 22 seconds after the warranty expires. These are good times to live in.

  • avatar
    TybeeJim

    You guys (and some girls) can rail all you want. This CLA is a decent German sedan that’s going to sell like hot cakes. BMW and Audi are scrambling fast to get the 1 Series and the A3 on the market before Benz eats them up. In case you didn’t notice, Benz passed BMW in sales in November. The real truth is that the CLA is a style maker ala the CLS (which spawned the A7, Pamamera, 6 Series GT, etc.) with an efficient engine to will get you to 60mph in less that 7 sec. and return over 30 mpg on the hwy. Add to that the MB cachet and it will be a winner that will eat into many lesser cars sales and some like the C-Class.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      It already is selling like hot cakes hence the shortage. The success of the CLA was easy to predict for three very important reasons, it’s a Mercedes Benz, it’s cheap, it doesn’t look cheap. How could it loose?

    • 0 avatar
      WhiskerDaVinci

      A lot of sales doesn’t equal a good car. Bad cars sell well all the time. Kia’s and Hyundai aren’t as good as people think, same as Toyota, and they sell like stink.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        Are you saying this is a bad car?

        • 0 avatar
          WhiskerDaVinci

          I test drove a couple here in Salt Lake City when they started showing up. I’m not saying it’s a bad car, because in my opinion it isn’t. It just doesn’t feel as well built as my Volvo. Nor are the materials as nice. You can tell that the CLA was built to a price pretty obviously with materials.

          There are certainly worse cars than the CLA for sale in the same price range, but there are also better ones.

  • avatar
    radcardude

    I saw one of these at a local auto show and was not impressed with the build quality. For the same price one could get a V6 Accord with more power, better quality, and better reliability. The CLA is definitely for poseurs.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    manufactured news release to drive interest and sales. move along folks.

  • avatar
    ash78

    This is a shocker to me. I live in a place where the C- and E-class (together) are about as common as the Accord. But I’ve yet to see a single CLA anywhere.

    I also see a half-dozen R-class models every day, and that was killed for low volume.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I see more Cadillac ELRs than Mercedes CLAs. However, I drive by the GM Tech Center almost everyday.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      “This is a shocker to me. I live in a place where the C- and E-class (together) are about as common as the Accord. But I’ve yet to see a single CLA anywhere.”

      And this is again because of the shortage of the cars. It is really hard for dealers to get them in right now. We have plenty ordered and have only had a handful come in. All CLAs that we have coming anytime soon are sold.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    Have yet to see a CLA in the flesh either. And I will dread that day when it comes.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    I agree with TybeeJim above. I don’t know what the average transaction price of this car is but I’d guess around 34-35k. It’s a stylish, compact Mercedes that delivers good fuel economy. I don’t understand the hand wringing and teeth gnashing directed at it.

    Does it have E or S class interior appointments? No, but I don’t expect that. I expect solid engineering, a nice interior and a nice ride. Do you expect an Accord to have the same amenities of an Acura? A 3 series to be the analog of a seven? I haven’t driven or sat in the car yet so I can’t make a quality statement but some have a real hard-on for this car and I feel its misplaced (and keep it away from me).

    I wouldn’t have a problem with Mercedes bringing the whole kit and kaboodle over to the states. Trucks, buses, delivery vans, OTR trucks
    et al. A well built vehicle is a well built vehicle. Amenities will match price points. I think the U.S. consumer can take the utter horror of seeing the three pointed star on an eighteen wheeler.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      There are 4 new CLAs in my area for sale they range from $32-39K. A quick check with the MBNA site reveals that options are steep. Oddly the AWD option isn’t. It’s about $2K. The LED lighted MB star on the grill is a whopping $480 option

  • avatar
    piggybox

    I was curious about CLA, but all of them in nearby dealers started from $37k. With the same money, I ended up buying a Q50.


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