2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class four door coupe
Denis Flierl's picture

How 2014 Mercedes CLA-Class will reshape global landscape

The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is launching around the global, but is it a good thing for the German automaker to downsize their lineup with premium compacts? Will it help them catch luxury rivals Audi and BMW?

It looks like Mercedes-Benz has taken a step backwards with the new lower-priced compact CLA-Class, but it’s really a brilliant move by the German automaker. When you think of Mercedes-Benz what generally comes to mind is the long history of making big luxury solons. But the maker of the first petrol vehicle has always been about innovation.

We think of the 1938 Autobahn Courier with its flowing lines, or the 1953 Ponton 180, the first Mercedes to feature a three-box design. Next came the 1954 SL Gullwing with innovative gull-wing doors, and the 1972 S-Class that is still the benchmark which luxury is measured today. And who could forget the 1989 500 SL that created a new look and stood in stark contrast to the muscle cars of the day. Mercedes has also produced many innovative concept cars like the F800 in 2010 pictured above.

Today Mercedes-Benz is just doing what they’ve done since 1886 when they received the patent for the three-wheeled, self-propelled, rear mounted single cylinder engine “Motorwagen.” It sparked a legacy of innovation that continues on today with the new CLA-Class. Mercedes continues to design cars that are relevant to the current generation of buyers. The CLA-Class appeals to a generation that have never purchased a Mercedes vehicle before.

The CLA starts at $29,900 and is aimed at a whole new audience. This will allow Mercedes to introduce the brand to a middle working-class customer. And the new CLA will be a global car that will be sold around the world. It will not only be sold in Europe and the U.S., but also in South America, Africa and Asia. As an article in the Yakima Herald points out, Mercedes has taken a page out of the Hyundai Motor Company playbook by “offering premium cars at sub-premium prices.”

The new CLA just recently picked up top honors in a readers poll for "The most beautiful cars of 2013“: The style rebel was voted the most attractive car in its class. The new CLA-Class is already defining a new brand image for Mercedes-Benz and could launch them into the number one selling luxury brand in the world ahead of Audi and BMW.

Don’t be surprised to see Mercedes-Benz overtake both Audi and BMW for the top luxury brand in the world by 2015. The new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class will be a big reason along with four new global premiers that will be unveiled at the LA Auto Show next month. The German brand is still reshaping the global automotive landscape. Stay tuned to Torque News for the latest global Mercedes-Benz updates.

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