• CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
  • CLA; 250 Sport; 7G-DCT; designo polarsilber magno; Leder/Mikrofaser DINAMICA schwarz NEON ART
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.

Early signs showed that the CLA-Class was doing well in the US, but limited supplies plagued dealers. The added Hungarian production should offset this, once they begin to arrive on these shores. Through the first two months of 2014, Mercedes has sold 4,404 of them in the US. The compact has also been bringing younger customers into Mercedes dealers. It buyers' median age is 46 years old, compared to 54 for the C-Class and 57 for the brand.

The new models' appeal has been helping Mercedes to stave off the growth of competitors Audi and BMW. Through the first two months of the year, the Four Rings has the lead by a few hundred units worldwide. The compacts have been Merc's main weapon in expansion with their sales up 29.7 percent through February.

In addition to Kecskemét, Daimler's Rastatt, Germany, factory has operating three shifts since October 2012. The automaker even has a contract with Valmet in Finland to build the A-Class to keep up with buyers desire for Mercedes' compacts. Scroll down to read Mercedes' full press release about the third shift. We've contacted Mercedes USA to get a better picture of how the CLA is performing in the US, and we'll update this story when we hear from them.
Show full PR text
Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét Plant to Produce with Additional Third Shift Beginning in May
Stuttgart / Kecskemét, Mar 18, 2014

New Mercedes-Benz compacts with continuous high demand

Compact car plants operate at full steam

Dr. Dieter Zetsche: "Most recently, our production has hardly kept up with the dynamic sales development of our compacts. That's why we are now switching our second compact car plant to three-shift operations as well - this allows us to serve the wishes of our customers around the world even better and timelier."


The Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant will introduce a third, additional shift in May. With this, further production capacities for the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars will be available. The Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, Germany has been operating in three-shift mode since October 2012 already.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "Most recently, our production has hardly kept up with the dynamic sales development of our compacts. That's why we are now switching our second compact car plant to three-shift operations as well - this allows us to serve the wishes of our customers around the world even better and timelier."

With regard to the contributions of the staff both at Rastatt and Kecskemét, Zetsche added: "We have the right products at the right time, and we also have an excellent production team. With its great dedication and the top-notch quality delivered on a daily basis, this team is one of the key reasons we're able to convince more and more customers with our A- and B-Class, the CLA and the new GLA."

Production in Rastatt and Kecskemét continues to run at full steam. Due to high customer demand, both plants had already worked numerous extra Saturday shifts last year. This flexible operating mode, which is closely aligned to the sales organization's planning, will be continued in the current year independently of the introduction of three-shift operations at Kecskemét.

About the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars

The new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars continues to be in great demand: In February, Mercedes-Benz sold 28,211 vehicles of the A-Class, B-Class and CLA-Class, more than a quarter more than in the same month of the previous year (+27.4%). Since the start of the year, 55,409 customers have opted for a compact car of the brand (+29.7%). Further growth is expected through the launch of the fourth compact model: The GLA came to the European market on March 15th. In the last year already, Mercedes-Benz sold more compact cars than ever before: All in all 371,399 customers opted for a compact car bearing the three-pointed star, 64.0% more than in the previous year 2012. In addition to the A- and B-Class, the compact four-door CLA coupe met with an excellent response. Especially with the A-Class and the CLA-Class the brand specifically opens itself up to new customer groups: One out of every two Mercedes customers of these model series previously owned a vehicle from another manufacturer.

About the production network of the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars

The new Mercedes-Benz compacts are produced in the flexible production network of the plants in Rastatt, Germany, and Kecskemét, Hungary. The high degree of flexibility is on the one hand due to the joint architecture of the new compacts, thanks to which all models at each location can be built in any order and volume. On the other hand, models produced at several locations serve as levers allowing the plants to breathe and to allocate units optimally in the production network, always according to market demand for individual models.

Production of the B-Class started in both plants as the first product of the new generation (Rastatt: September 2011, Kecskemét: March 2012). The new A-Class has been built in Rastatt since July 2012. As the second product from Kecskemét, production of the CLA started in January 2013. Production of the compact SUV GLA began in Rastatt in December 2013. In total, Daimler has invested about 2 billion euros over several years, of which (including 2013) 1.2 billion at the Rastatt core plant and 800 million euros to build the new plant in Kecskemét. At the end of 2013, the number of staff in Rastatt was at about 6.600, in Kecskemét at about 3,400. Additional production capacities for the A-Class have been available to Daimler since August 2013 with the contract manufacturing at the Finnish production specialist Valmet Automotive, where more than 100,000 vehicles of the model series are planned to roll off the line until 2016. Furthermore, local production of the GLA for the Chinese market will begin in 2015 at BBAC's (Beijing Benz Automotive Corporation, joint venture of Daimler and its Chinese partner BAIC) production location in Beijing.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 62 Comments
      Mateusz Paszek
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just... don't get it. Perhaps it's the finest vehicle in the universe, but it looks MELTED. Especially in the rear half, where all the body lines just droop downward. Like someone took a regular Mercedes and left it in the oven on broil for a few hours. There's just no redeeming aesthetic value to this vehicle - not the front, not the rear, not the sides. It looks... damaged.
      AcidTonic
      • 1 Year Ago
      They'd have a 26 year old in their dealer if they'd bring the A45 AMG here.....
      Pandabear
      • 1 Year Ago
      It "looks nice", and is the cheapest Benz. That's about it. The interior material, the handling, the fuel efficiency, the quietness, the chassis, etc are all worse than competitors in the same size like Accord, Camry, 6, Fusion, Malibu, etc. And all of them are going to be more reliable than MBZ. I feel sorry for the people who overpay for this when they can get a better car, just for the badge.
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pandabear
        Please don't insult Toyota, Honda etc by comparing their cars to this piece of German crap.
          Trevor
          • 1 Year Ago
          @knightrider_6
          Yeah cause the toyotas have garbage build quality.
        amge5.5
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pandabear
        So are you just a hater or what? The 4 cylinder in the CLA250 gets better MPG and make more power than any of the other 4 cylinders, except for the 6's mpg. Also, I find it funny you think the chassis is worse than the Camry.....that pretty much seals it that your a hater. It is a hell of a lot more fun to drive than most you listed, with the exception of the 6 and Accord being just as good.
          Pandabear
          • 1 Year Ago
          @amge5.5
          Fine, maybe it is "middle of the road" among any mid size cars out there that cost 2/3 to 1/2 as much. It doesn't have the best of any thing, not the cheapest, not the fastest, not the most fun to drive, not the most reliable, not the most comfortable. So, why, other than the badge and the look, should people buy this? CLA's interior is an insult to buyers. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/analysis-three-shifts-four-models-a-profitable-formula-for-daimlers-front-drivers/#postcomments
      DeeDee
      • 1 Year Ago
      So much negativity in so many posts! The Pavlovian reflex on AutoBlog... Write "Mercedes Benz" and all the haters jump on their keyboards. Some to vent their frustration at what they perceive as social injustice -due to a complex of inferiority they've convinced themselves they can't afford one-. Others, to make themselves feel good try to hide their resentment by becoming pro bono sales people of other car brands (hi BMW and Audi would be drivers!). As for the rest they pretend they are "manly enough" just because the only car they can afford is a Toyota Corolla or a broken Ford Pinto! According to their twisted theory MB owners and drivers are supposed to be bald, arthritic and impotent... Truth is, because the sight of any person their age at the wheel of a Mercedes makes them so sick and so mad, the fuming haters are the ones on Cialis and testosterone pills!
        usa1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DeeDee
        I think there are two camp you don't consider. The "true" luxury car owners who paid lots of money for high end models that are offended by cheaper cars with luxury car badges on them. It makes their brand worth less. Then there are the average guys who see someone paying inflated prices for a indifferent cars just to get the luxury badge.
        Making11s
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DeeDee
        This comment is a microcosm of the internet. It's hypocritical, makes huge generalizations to avoid actual discussion, punches a few strawmen in the face, and lacks the self-awareness to see its own hypocrisy. Well played, you.
      Barry Hubris
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car is about as appealing as a 93 Toyota Tercel with dubs.
      Karfreek
      • 1 Year Ago
      The "I cant really afford a Benz" Benz.
        hboi18
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Karfreek
        The "i cant even afford this benz" comment^
          Karfreek
          • 1 Year Ago
          @hboi18
          This coming from a person who spelled boy with an 'i'...
          hboi18
          • 1 Year Ago
          @hboi18
          and you spell "car" with a "C" third letter in the alphabet
          hboi18
          • 1 Year Ago
          @hboi18
          Yeah..made this screen name 5 years ago... 18+5= 23 if you didn't know i have my own car ...thanks for judging me based on a screen name..
        ravenosa
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Karfreek
        The "I'm confident in my income level and manhood size so I don't think about status/price-level when buying a car" Benz. One of the only Benz cars I wouldn't feel like an insecure tool driving. Kinda cool if you think about it. A Benz that doesn't scream "Hey, people, I'm losing my hair and sexual ability so spending money on cars is how I reaffirm my existence."
          Pandabear
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ravenosa
          Then why even buy a Benz? This car has a Benz logo, that's it. You can get a much better car, by picking anything else in the market that cost 1/2 to 2/3 as much.
          superchan7
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ravenosa
          You'd rather associate with the "OMGz I can finally afford a Masayyyydees!" people instead? Not much better IMO...
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Crappy Lame Automobile is what CLA stands for. Your knees hit the sides when sitting in the driver seat. Ridiculous lol and other things. It drives like crap too.
      S.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think a lot of commenters here (enthusiasts) don't understand the common man/woman buyer's mindset. These are likely the same people who'll buy the budget brand Vuitton purse (or a knock off), not for quality but the LOGO and name brand. It's all about how they appear to other people, not buying the best product. M-B (smartly) seized that vain/dumb/shallow however you want to classify them niche and is rolling in the bucks. Duh, we know there are more reliable smarter buys in the $30k range, but they want to roll up to wherever they're going in a Mercedes Benz. Because their dumb guy and gal friends will see the badge and swoon. I don't get it, but I'm not the target market. Sorry for a lot of generalizations.
        camshaft
        • 1 Year Ago
        @S.
        Agree. The people that want to spend +-30k for an excellent example of what mb is capable of need only wait a couple years for a used higher end class. These people love the cars, not the show off factor.
        Dean
        • 1 Year Ago
        @S.
        What's not to get? I think your comment hit the nail on the head. I don't think your generalizations are too far off. I believe that a small percentage of buyers do in fact buy the smaller luxury cars based on the car's merits as opposed to trying to show off.
      zoomy
      • 1 Year Ago
      but...but...but...it's FWD
        rsholland
        • 1 Year Ago
        @zoomy
        Hey zoom_zoom_zoom, so are Mazdas!
          zoomy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rsholland
          Jebus, hate when I have to point out sarcasm.
        Barry Hubris
        • 1 Year Ago
        @zoomy
        Ah, but Mazdas are half the price with as much interior volume, lighter, more efficient...
          Pandabear
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Barry Hubris
          Joe Liebig, It is the same fuel economy as the 6's 26/38 base model, and it definitely ride worse than 6 at much higher price. If you want to spend 30k for a "super efficient" car and don't care as much about handling / ride, get a plug in Prius. If you want a non Prius at around 30k, Accord Hybrid is good handling and get 50mpg highway. So, the same question again, why should people buy this car other than the badge or the way it looks (if you like it in the first place)?
      Jared
      • 1 Year Ago
      IDK why you would want this. It's ugly and the body is horribly disproportionate.
      jb.bradford
      • 1 Year Ago
      Between this and the C-class, Mercedes has the sub $40K sedan list on lock down. The C-class has absolutly beautiful interiors that are leaps and bounds better then the previous generation, and this CLA is an amazing "entry level" vehicle that Mercedes offers. Great price, great looks and great company (I don't care what the nay-sayers say).
      Martin Leclerc
      • 1 Year Ago
      Red hot sales? Jeez, I guess I'm the only one who's put off by the small and cheap plasticky interior and the iPad Mini sitting on top of the dashboard..
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