For Sale By:Dealer
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Gray
Interior Color: Black
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Mercedes-Benz trotted out its CLA45 AMG-based racer at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. We first showed you the sedan in the deluge of news and reveals that precedes most good auto shows, and were blown away by the car, formally known as the CLA45 AMG Racing Series.
We were strolling by the Mercedes stand, and figured we'd pop in and take a look at the new racer and its carbon-fiber body panels, gutted interior, and race-sourced aero parts. It's a looker, both as a road car and a track weapon. It's not clear what series the CLA45 AMG will qualify for, although it does seem like a shoe-in for the World Touring Car Championship. Let us know what you think of the CLA racer down in the comments. In the meantime, we've got a full gallery of live images up top, along with the stock images that were posted last week on the Mercedes-Benz Facebook page.
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.
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.
Alex Rodriguez, in case you haven't heard, is seemingly the new Most Hated Man In Baseball, ostensibly replacing commissioner Bud Selig (for now). Rodriguez was slammed with a 211-game suspension due to his role in the MLB's latest steroid scandal in which "A-Roid," as fans have taken to calling the former superstar, was cited with steroid use and attempts to hide his involvement by "engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate" the investigation, according to the MLB's official report.
Why is this on a car site, then? Because Rodriguez' name is attached Alex Rodriguez Mercedes-Benz in League City, TX. An Ad Age report cites Mercedes-Benz USA in saying that A-Rod owns "about half'" of the dealership. Mercedes, for what it's worth, isn't going to any to any lengths to distance itself from its dealership or its controversial namesake, saying, "We never promoted the fact that A-Rod owned a dealership, so there's really nothing to 'distance' ourselves from. And since his activity is not illegal but rather prohibited by MLB, there's nothing actionable here."
With the scandal still a fresh piece of news and A-Rod's pending appeal, it's difficult to tell what sort of effect, if any, his name will have on the dealership's sales. Ad Age contacted the GM of Alex Rodriguez Mercedes-Benz to get the dealership's view, but no calls were returned. According to Mercedes, any name change is up to Rodriguez and his partner(s) at the dealership. Somehow, though, we think A-Rod has other things to worry about beyond his dealership's name.