Fri, 13 Dec 2013 14:00:00 EST
It's still in the early going, but it's looking more and more like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA is a verifiable home run for the German brand. According to a new report from Bloomberg, the new small car isn't just widening the sales gap between Mercedes and BMW, it's attracting a new, younger breed of customers into the brand's showrooms. But that early success is straining supplies of the turbocharged four-door.
Wed, 28 Aug 2013 09:29:00 EST
Dealers have been warned that the first half of 2014 will see limited supplies for CLA, with a letter to dealers indicating that "tight inventories and low days supply" will exist from February through June, despite the car's Kecskemét, Hungary plant running at full tilt.
"This is our best launch in 20 years," said Steve Cannon, the US boss for Mercedes. "The CLA has been a phenomenal success right out of the gate." The numbers certainly support that. We reported in early October that Mercedes moved 2,300 CLAs in its first week on sale, and now Bloomberg is saying CLA sales were almost singlehandedly responsible for Benz's November sales gains. Mercedes' annual sales are up 14 percent through the November, and it's enjoying a healthy 7,600-car lead over BMW.
Mercedes-Benz is preparing a major product offensive to counteract lagging sales in the Chinese market, aiming 20 new or updated models at the People's Republic in the next two years, according to a report by Reuters. The plan is part of MB's so-called 2020 Initiative, which will see the Stuttgart-based manufacturer dump 2 billion Euros ($2.67 billion) into its Chinese market vehicles in a bid to boost sales to 300,000 units by 2015.
Thu, 25 Jul 2013 09:00:00 EST
Were it to succeed, China would become the largest market for the Silver Arrow, outpacing Germany and the United States. Leading the charge will be the redesigned E-Class, which is set to launch in China this week. That will quickly be followed by the S-Class, and eventually by the GLA-Class in 2014.
Mercedes has struggled in China, especially relative to its German competition, BMW and Audi. Where Mercedes saw a mere four-percent increase in 2012 sales to 206,150 units, Audi was up a staggering 32 percent, while BMW's numbers jumped 41 percent. While some voices, according to Reuters, accuse Munich and Ingolstadt of boosting their numbers through hefty incentives, the fact remains that Mercedes was just walloped by its competitors last year.
A little over two months ago came reports that Daimler and Aston Martin were in talks, again, about "supply and technical-cooperation agreements." The next step has been taken with Aston Martin announcing that it has signed a Letter of Intent that looks "towards a technical partnership" with Mercedes-AMG GmbH, and the two companies aiming to have definitive agreements done by year's end.
While it will get to use certain electric and electronic components from AMG, the true golden egg for the maker of the Vanquish will be the ability to develop a new line of "bespoke V8 powertrains" that will be fitted to "a new generation of models." In return for opening up the larder, Daimler will get a non-voting stake of up to five percent of Aston Martin.
Nothing else is being said about the tie-up for the moment, but there's a press release below with a few more details.