After the new $29,900 coupe helped widen the automaker’s US luxury-sales lead this year over BMW, Mercedes-Benz told its U.S. dealers they should expect fewer CLAs in 2014’s first half.
The CLA’s plant is at full capacity, and output should support demand by July, according to a letter sent to the dealers. Mercedes also said it anticipates “tight inventories and low days supply” from February through June because of the car’s “overwhelming success” worldwide.
“Our dealers say that they’re seeing a lot more floor traffic and many new faces” because of the CLA, said Steve Cannon, head of Mercedes’s U.S. sales. “The increase in our overall model sales indicates that this traffic is benefiting all Mercedes-Benz models.”
Mercedes widened its U.S. lead over BMW in November as CLA sales contributed almost all its monthly gain. Deliveries for the unit of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler rose 14 % through the year’s first 11 months, for a 7,610-vehicle lead. Mercedes is seeking to end BMW’s two-year reign in annual U.S. luxury sales, after Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said in July that he expected to come up short again.
Mercedes said in the letter that the CLA is bringing a younger buyer to the brand, as the median age is 46, compared with 54 for C-Class buyers and 57 for the entire brand.