German Auto Maker Bids For Upscale Market
GENEVA, SUI – Mercedes-Benz stunned Geneva show exhibitors by unfurling an “affordable” compact sedan, introducing its very first front-wheel drive and 4-cylinder cars and invading a market segment younger buyers never had really approached.
CLA 250 Marks New Path
The CLA 250 has been priced from $29,900 and the new Mercedes sedan is challenging established entry-level competitors like Toyota Avalon, Infiniti, and Korean pair of Genesis and Equus, not to mention Cadillac’s new ERL and Lincoln’s MKZ and arch rivals Audi and BMW/MINI. On the other hand, Mercedes is embarking on a global crusade with the CLA 250, projecting the car as an Hungarian-built sedan sold to younger buyers around the world and leading sales in every developing country – from Chile to Finland and South Africa to Israel.
Mac Gordon Note – In 1985 we were driven around Israel in a “reparations” Mercedes, the car of choice for every embassy, admiral and general and tennis tournament winner. CLA 250s are being ordered at every Mercedes dealership, including LA and by the Ghesquire family in Detroit.
Plant visitors coming to Budapest will be in Kecskemet. The plant tour should be a real treat – Hungary’s first auto assembly plant. A global ad splash debuting the CLA 250 (‘LA’ for Los Angeles) is underway as we speak. (Road test to follow:)
What other brands should elder bargain hunters seek out?
BMW’s entry-level MINI brand is a “must see” for tradeins and BMW’s performance pluses. No. 1 BMW dealer, Sterling in Newport Beach, is the place to go MINI hunting. An electric MINI is worth waiting for, even as Honda spins off its rival Acura brand.