By on April 17, 2015

Mercedes-Benz CLA250As Mercedes-Benz USA levels off with slightly less than 2000 GLA SUV/crossover/hatchback/whatever-it-is sales per month, U.S. sales of the GLA’s sedan donor vehicle, the CLA, haven’t slowed at all.

In other words, the GLA’s presence in Mercedes-Benz showrooms is not a deterrent to the CLA.

Yes, America, buyers continue to flock to the sedan even though there’s a crossover version of that sedan available. Believe it.

Granted, the CLA isn’t selling like it did during its launch period. Anticipated and hyped, the CLA generated 8518 U.S. sales in its first full two months, October and November 2013.

But over the last five months, a period in which the GLA became readily available, CLA sales increased 13%, year-over-year.

March volume jumped 81% after a 16% gain through the first two months of 2015. In the eight months immediately preceding the GLA’s launch, Mercedes-Benz USA was selling fewer than 2000 CLAs per month, although the belief was that dealers could have sold more if they had greater inventory of the Hungary-built sedan.

Mercedes-Benz USA salesMercedes-Benz needed to supply more CLAs to North America, and they have, but one might have expected that the increase in CLA inventory would be timed with decreased CLA demand as the GLA launch period began. Instead, Mercedes-Benz has proved capable of selling more than 2800 CLAs per month alongside the GLA, 45% more monthly sales than they were doing in pre-GLA 2014.

The impact on the brand? Excluding Sprinter, 18% of the Mercedes-Benzes sold in the U.S. in the first-quarter of 2015 were entry-level CLAs and GLAs – 11% for the CLA alone – up from 8% in the first-quarter of 2014, before the GLA. Non-CLA/GLA Benz sales are down 3% in the early stages of 2015.

With the entry-level pairing intact, Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. volume was up 9% in March; 8% in the first-quarter.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG (X 156) 2013Even so, only twice in the last six months has Mercedes-Benz topped the premium leaderboard. BMW, the brand which outperformed Mercedes-Benz USA in December, February, and March, adopted a markedly different entry-level strategy compared with Mercedes-Benz and Audi, with their front and all-wheel-drive sedans. The 2-Series is a performance coupe with nothing more than low-volume potential: March was the best 1-Series/2-Series sales month since August 2010, but with only 1249 units, it wasn’t a common car.

No, BMW’s true entry-level car is the 320i, simply a lesser version of the nation’s top-selling premium brand car. BMW doesn’t release specific monthly figures for engine variants, but if we use Cars.com’s inventory results as a guide, BMW likely sold around 4600 copies of the 320i in 2015’s first-quarter.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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11 Comments on “The Mercedes-Benz GLA’s Arrival Isn’t Slowing Down The Mercedes-Benz CLA: U.S. 2015 Q1 Sales...”


  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    That CLA truly is ugly. And in a juvenile way. I can’t imagine someone aspiring to own it regardless of the hood emblem.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    I see brand whorism is still alive and well…

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Here are a few adjectives/conditions describing the MB CLA/GLA

    Scrap
    Junk
    Garbage
    POS
    Grossly Overpriced
    The Suck
    Embarrassing
    FUBAR
    Shameful
    Rubbish
    Disposable
    Garish
    Plasticy
    Rectal Bleeding
    Utter Sh!t
    The Worst & Nothing
    Badge Whoredom
    Sell-out
    STD
    Genital Wart
    Hemorrhoid

  • avatar
    319583076

    That’s too bad, the CLA is an ugly mess of a car while the GLA looks like a nice enough entry-level Mercedes.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Wow, you know a car is bad when TTAC prefers the crossover version of it to the sedan!

    With a true wagon back I think the GLA could be a full on winner. As is its Air Jordan VIII profile is just not very practical.

  • avatar

    Why buy new when you can lease for $299/mo?
    Why lease when you can rent for $37/day at SIXT?
    Why rent when you can own for ~$27k when these come off rental?

  • avatar
    KOKing

    Well, the GLA is craptastically ugly (though not in the B or R class way). And although the CLA isn’t exactly graceful, its CLS shrink job is far better than the hideous S-class shrink that is the new C. Bleh.

    • 0 avatar
      sckid213

      Thank you for saying this about the new C!. All the reviews rave about the new C, and I agree that the interior is next level, but I can’t get over the exterior styling. It looks extremely feminine, soft and melted.

      I was driving in LA traffic and there was a new black C behind a new black S. They are truly indistinguishable from the rear view.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    While out car shopping, I had a chance to sit in the CLA. It’s truly bad. Then I looked at the sticker and laughed and laughed and laughed.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      + 1. I test drove an CLA45 and it is a very confused product. The DCT gearbox is slower than the old GM 4-sped slush-box but still manages to be terrible at low speeds.

      The AWD system seems to be strictly slip-and-grip and adds nothing to cornering leading to nothing but throttle induced over-steer.

      The nearly $60K price tag is just the icing on the cake.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    If I don’t see the grille, I mistake the GLA for a Nissan.


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