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If you dig the style of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class but can't quite stretch from the $29,900 MSRP of the CLA250 to the $47,450 CLA45 AMG, we've got a bit of good news for you: Mercedes is offering a new Sport Package Plus for the CLA250 that at least punches up the visual attitude.

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Volkswagen may have paved the way for American customers to get used to the idea of German cars produced in Mexico, but it won't be the only one for long. BMW is said to be considering production of the 1 Series, 3 Series and Mini south of the border, Audi is working on its own factory in San Jose Chiapa, and now Mercedes-Benz is reported to be following suit as well. Only instead of building its own plant, Daimler is tipped to use a Nissan factory in Aguascalientes.

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Mercedes-Benz has been profiting mightily from compact cars recently. Its Kecskemét, Hungary, factory added a third shift to keep up with demand, and company's US arm called the CLA-Class, its "best launch in 20 years." However, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche says the Mercedes brand won't be getting any smaller, subcompact models; they will be reserved for the Smart brand.

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The Mercedes-Benz factory in Kecskemét, Hungary, has been shut down because a bomb threat was called into the plant at about 1:30 PM CET (7:30 AM EDT) on Wednesday. The factory has been evacuated and production has been suspended.

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The Car Everyone Can Disagree On

With more than a year separating my test week with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 from its debutante ball at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, I had the advantage of a mountain of data and diatribes with which to inform my initial opinion. Conversations with colleagues and coworkers netted splintered ideas about the CLA's driving demeanor; reading hundreds of comments posted on Autoblog articles revealed a popular divide about everything from exterior styling to the execution of its navigation screen.

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We give BMW a whole lot of grief for its niche-exploiting ways. Check our report on the rumored X2 to see what we mean. But in reality, Mercedes-Benz is very nearly as guilty. The latest batch of evidence supporting the argument is this, the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake.

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Mercedes-Benz is continuing to see heavy demand for its compact models, like the CLA-Class, around the world, and Daimler has responded by adding a third shift at its Kecskemét, Hungary, factory starting in May. The plant, which builds the B-Class and CLA-Class, was already running two shifts and some Saturdays to keep up with their popularity, according to Bloomberg.

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Simply Irresistible

If working from home these past few years has taught me anything, it's that I genuinely miss commuting. Yeah, you heard me. Maybe it's because, historically, my commutes have always been pretty enjoyable – not like the opening scene from Office Space, one of those stop-and-go-until-the-end-of-time grinds. When I had to drive to an office every day, I always managed to find routes that didn't involve the highway, or at the very least, they incorporated a fun on-ramp or two. In my more recen

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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.

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Last week, we showed you some images of the long-roofed Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake. Those shots of the five-door Mercedes were from a distance and were quite grainy, unfortunately. Today, we have much better shots of the new model, shown testing somewhere in Europe.

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Mercedes-Benz CLA sales have been booming, with the Stuttgart-based manufacturer moving 2,300 of the sleek four-doors in its first week on sale. That is astonishing. Mercedes moved nearly twice as many CLAs (which start at $29,900) in one week than Jaguar, a brand that is on a very solid roll, sold in all of September. Ignoring the price differences between the Jag line and the CLA, that is still wildly impressive.

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One of key reasons that small cars are popping up in luxury automakers' lineups is to help boost fleet fuel economy numbers. For Mercedes-Benz and its new 2014 CLA-Class, mission accomplished. Although Mercedes has yet to release final numbers for its new small car set to go on sale early next year, the EPA's FuelEconomy.gov website is now listing the front-wheel-drive CLA250, the range's base model, at 26 miles per gallon in the city and a commendable 38 mpg on the highway. For the moment, ther

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With a starting price of under $30,000 in the US, one might be wondering how Mercedes-Benz plans to eke out a profit on its new entry-level CLA-Class. The answer, as with most other German offerings, will almost certainly be found on its long options list. And while there will be typical creature comforts like moonroofs and uprated stereos on the list, Mercedes is evidently also keen to cash in on the personalization craze that has been padding the bottom lines of brands like Mini and Fiat.

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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.

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On any given weekend, you can expect to see the Three-Pointed Star racing somewhere. It could be in Formula One, DTM, V8 Supercars or any of the myriad sportscar racing series where customer teams compete in the SLS AMG GT3. But now it looks like Mercedes-Benz is gearing up to add one more.

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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.

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That didn't take long. Shortly after a French administrative court gave the French government a ten-day window to reconsider its ban on registrations of Mercedes-Benz A-, B- and CLA-Class cars using the prohibited R134a refrigerant, the government cited an EU directive to formalize banning the sale of the cars. The country's environmental ministry said that registrations "will remain forbidden in France as long as the company does not to conform to European regulations," meaning so long as they

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