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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Mercedes-Benz Finally Has An A-Class for the U.S.

    Hatchback? No. Sedan? Yes.

    Mercedes-Benz has never sold the A-Class in the U.S. as it wasn't sure consumers would buy a luxury hatchback. But Mercedes will be finally bringing over the next-generation A-Class, but as a sedan.

    "We truly believe that now with the body style we have the right answer for the market," said Britta Seeger, Mercedes-Benz's global sales chief to Automotive News.

    When the model launches next fall in U.S., the A-Class sedan will become the brand's entry-level model. Mercedes is aiming the model at younger buyers that are new to the brand. 

    "It's a very attractive car for younger people. But not only for younger people — it can have a broad audience because it's a nice entrance into the Mercedes-Benz family," said Seeger.

    Currently, the cheapest way to get into a Mercedes-Benz is the CLA-Class with a pricetag of $32,700. It is expected that the A-Class sedan will start under $30,000. When asked about this, Seeger said, "We will see."

    Click here for more Mercedes-Benz News

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)



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    So an even smaller Bag of Poo with a 3 star badge on it that people will think is superior to any other auto out there and yet is no different than buying a Toyota, Ford or Chevy. :nono:

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    20 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    So an even smaller Bag of Poo with a 3 star badge on it that people will think is superior to any other auto out there and yet is no different than buying a Toyota, Ford or Chevy. :nono:

    They get the privilege of paying more for less reliability and more electronics issues. 

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    The new A-class has a pretty good interior, it is better than what the CLA has.  I think this car looks better to, they should just kill the CLA all together and sell the A-class sedan.  They don't need both.

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Not to sound like @dfelt or anything, but these cars are just too small for that kind of money... And this is coming from a guy who has an Encore. 

    It is bigger than an Encore, it is as big as an E36 3-series and those sold well.   A lot of people will think the car is too small, but some people won't mind or will want a small car if they live in a city.  This car has outstanding value I think.  I'd rather see the CLA die and the hatchback replace it also.

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    I find the CLA too small, I think the C-class which is roomy enough car, for me at 6'2" lacks some width in the footwells and I wish it had a narrower center console.  So I even find the C-class a little cramped more so from a width standpoint, not length.  But not everyone wants a big car as I said, and women who are 5'4" will probably find the A-class large enough.  I think this 2nd effort will be a hit, where the CLA fell short.

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    CLA meant Merc could sell the C class at higher prices.  Same car, higher profits.  

    I like the CLA actually but its worthless for space inside.  I don't see why they just couldnt ride out the CLA.

    i.e. i see no point to this ugly A class.

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    15 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    One has to wonder why waste R&D on such small worthless hard to profit auto's, why not just stay with the C class and above of higher profit luxury? :unsure:

    Are you kidding?  Mercedes is selling a glorified Focus for $30k... why wouldn't they sell that?

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    44 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Are you kidding?  Mercedes is selling a glorified Focus for $30k... why wouldn't they sell that?

    So many people on the Forum and in the news says making a profit on sub compact and compact auto's is hard, so my assumption is that those auto's have low profits for BMW and MB as well.

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    Just now, dfelt said:

    So many people on the Forum and in the news says making a profit on sub compact and compact auto's is hard, so my assumption is that those auto's have low profits for BMW and MB as well.

    Focus and Cruze sell for $10k less than a CLA... there's a lot of room for profit there for something that is mechanically no different. 

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Are you kidding?  Mercedes is selling a glorified Focus for $30k... why wouldn't they sell that?

    So you don't get a reputation for selling glorified Foci?

    • Haha 1

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    pfffft... who cares about that when there are quarterly profits to consider?!

    Makes ya wonder what GM could do if they were not a public traded company! :scratchchin:

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    16 hours ago, dfelt said:

    One has to wonder why waste R&D on such small worthless hard to profit auto's, why not just stay with the C class and above of higher profit luxury? :unsure:

    All the A/B cars like CLA, GLA, B-class, A-class hatch, etc sell over 400,000 units worldwide per year and Renault and Infiniti use that platform too, so they have economies of scale to make it profitable.  Plus Mercédès has one of the highest owner loyalty ratings, the more people they can get in early the better.

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    15 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Focus and Cruze sell for $10k less than a CLA... there's a lot of room for profit there for something that is mechanically no different. 

    Yesish. Their performance is more along the lines of the ST/GTI/hot hatch which is 26k.  and they have higher ratio transmissions than the other compact class as well raising costs probably significantly.

    I'm not saying there aren't profits to be had but I think 10k premium for "the same" is way off. 

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    Think cost to build rather than MSRP.

    Does Cruze 1.5t with direct injection cost any more to build than an MB 2.0t with direct injection? Largely no.  Unless there is some weird technology in an engine, that type of engine with the same technology will cost roughly the same regardless of who is building it and regardless of it's performance (baring ultra performance models). 

    A compact FWD platform will cost roughly the same regardless of who is building it. There is nothing particularly special about the CLA.

    The only difference might be suspension complexity, but there is certainly not a $10k advantage there.

    So for what it costs Mercedes to build a CLA versus what it costs Chevy to build a Cruze, they're going to be pretty darn close.

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    23 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    The CLA or A-class has more tech and better interior materials than a Cruze does, all wheel drive option, etc,  There is still a lot of cost differential there.

    Again, no.  The costly stuff is largely the same.   What better tech does the base $33,6k CLA that a $23k Cruze LT doesn't?    

     

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Again, no.  The costly stuff is largely the same.   What better tech does the base $33,6k CLA that a $23k Cruze LT doesn't?    

     

    I never looked at the Cruze LT standard equipment list, but the Mercedes has better interior materials, a dual clutch transmission, and 208 hp which is better than a Cruze, it has automatic braking and attention assist which a Cruze doesn’t.  The new A-class has dual 10.25 inch screens.  I’d imagine the safety ratings are higher on the CLA, 96% of Mercedes have automatic emergency braking, only 4 car brands are over 50%, safety is in Mercedes DNA.

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    @Drew Dowdell @smk4565

    So you guys made me curious to see the difference in the base CLA versus Cruze. What was interesting is that at $33,695 for the CLA you have a base car that is nothing special compared to so many superior options out there for the same money with much better packaging.

    In the Cruze, to get it identically configured to the CLA, I had to actually go with the Premier edition of the Cruze and still it came at $28,475. Considerable difference for the FWD Premier versus RWD CLA 250. Not really sure that most people other than looking for a badge would care to spend $5,220.00 more for what really is just a commuter car for most.

    ChevyCruzePremier.jpg

    BaseCLA2018.jpg

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    The CLA may not have that nice of an interior but look at the Cruze.  The CLA also has an extra 55 hp on the Cruze, which is a lot when you talk about 153 vs 208.  That is like a 300 hp car vs a 400 hp car, you are going to feel it.  All wheel drive offered on the CLA also. 

    And really this is an irrelevant comparison, I doubt these two ever get cross shopped.  

    • Upvote 1

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