Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said Mercedes might manufacture the next generation CLA compact in Mexico, part of a JV with Nissan.
Zetsche said a decision regarding this issue will be made by early 2014. The CLA might be manufactured at Nissan’s Aguascalientes plant, in Mexico, from 2018, after the automaker will have expanded the facility for Mercedes assembly. Nissan will also expand the facility to add a new model for its Infiniti brand. The first generation of CLA, to hit dealerships this fall, is manufactured in Hungary, but Zetsche said the automaker plans to increase North American production.
“Mexico is the best location for the United States,” Zetsche said, adding that a joint venture with Nissan would make more economic sense than a new factory.
He also added that the automaker chose Mexico to build the CLA because “it is the highest-production car for the United States,” as it comes from the new front-wheel-drive platform, also used for the A-class hatchback, GLA crossover and B-class hatchback.
Mercedes-Benz global sales increased 8.3% in June to 131,609 units, the best June in the automaker’s history. Thanks to increased demand in the US and China, Mercedes reached its best June sales, also due to strong demand for the B-Class and A-Class compact models. In the US the German automaker sold 27,162 units, up 7%.
Source: Automotive News