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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Found this really interesting article. So what do you think? Do U.S. automakers have to worry about the introduction of the CLA.

At the Geneva Motor Show this month, Mercedes-Benz is scheduled to formally introduce its newest member of the family, dubbed the CLA. Companies introduce new models all the time, but the CLA has a significant amount riding on its success.

The CLA is being introduced as an addition to Mercedes’s existing A-Class, a compact model currently available in Europe, but one that will be making its way to the U.S. later this year. It will provide another entry-level option to prospective buyers, a market segment that has caused a dramatic lag for Mercedes behind key rivals such as BMW (BMW.DE) and Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK).

The CLA is intended to jolt the brand back to life, following a stock flat line over the past seven years under the leadership of Dieter Zetsche. During this time, Mercedes’s stock has grown only 6 percent, compared to BMW’s 87 percent growth and VW’s five-fold gains. With MB already positioning other executives to replace Zetsche, the CLA looks like his last opportunity to bring the company back

Significant under-performance in the compact- and small-car market, combined with missed opportunities in new markets — specifically China — have resulted in Mercedes’s stock flatline. The MB subsidiary Smart has been posting large losses, as VW’s Audi and BMW have managed to ensnare the small car market in Europe.

However, the European markets haven’t just been weak for Mercedes. American manufacturers General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F) have also been seeing large difficulties in the region, and have subsequently rolled back their respective presences in the area. The new CLA and impending A-Class though, could pose a new threat to domestic manufacturers on American soil upon their arrival…

GM’s Cadillac brand has recently launched the ATS, which offers Cadillac styling on a more compact package. The car was met with great acclaim from critics and publications, who noted its ability to compete with European competitors as laudable considering Cadillac’s image as a maker of large, floaty, underwhelming models.

Ford, too, has recently made large investments in its luxury brand, Lincoln. Like Cadillac, Lincoln must shake off its image as the boring, muted company so it can compete better against European luxury imports. In the past, Cadillac and Lincoln models have been nothing more than Chevrolet or Ford models in a tuxedo. Realizing this, the companies have gone back to the drawing board. But will it be enough?

The CLA will pose a refreshed competitor to the American luxury companies, who have never really produced a small, compact car with the same trappings as larger models…

With Europe written off by American companies — at least until the economic climate there improves — it’s a race for Asia, particularly China, as companies attempt to pick up lost market share in the largest developing market. China is the world’s most important growth market, whose luxury car sales are set to overtake the United States and reach 2.7 million vehicles by 2020.

GM has already invested heavily in its Asian facilities, but only time will be able to tell us if Mercedes’ new weapon will catch on among Chinese consumers. Given the company’s limited dealership network in China (one of Zetsche’s largest missed opportunities), MB will have to work extraordinarily hard to move a competitive number of vehicles in the region.

In 2012, GM sold 30,010 Cadillacs in China, but aims to sell 100,000 or more by 2015, reports indicate. Ford plans to bring the Lincoln nameplate to China next year. Daimler’s website reported that Mercedes moved 196,211 units in China last year.
Does This New Mercedes Model Scare U.S. Automakers? | Wall St. Cheat Sheet
 

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I hope the release of the CLA will motivate other luxury brands to release quality cars at more affordable prices. We need me BMWs, Audis, and Lexus with a starting price for under 30k.
 

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I hope the release of the CLA will motivate other luxury brands to release quality cars at more affordable prices. We need me BMWs, Audis, and Lexus with a starting price for under 30k.
BMW already has a sedan even more compact than their 3 series in the works. It's going to be called the BMW 2 series gran coupe and compete with the CLA.

Can't wait!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
BMW already has a sedan even more compact than their 3 series in the works. It's going to be called the BMW 2 series gran coupe and compete with the CLA.

Can't wait!
I didn't even hear about that. Any idea what the starting price is?
 

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I don't think automakers should be overly worried. I don't doubt that CLA will be successful but it won't make or break other companies. Competing automakers can maybe learn a thing or two from Mercedes.
 

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The CLA and BMW 2 series gran coupe will be deadly to the american car market. As far as U.S. auto makers go, Cadillac is doing good so far, their ATS is amazing, very much like what BMW or Benz would make.
 

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I dont know if it was only the CLA that scared the U.S. auto makers but they soon will be devastated when they realized what mercedes has done making a vehicle in this brand new segment where no one was ready for except BMW. The 2 series will be competing directly with the CLA and will be doing well once more accurate pricing info is released.
 

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I like the looks of both the Bmw 2 series and the Mercedes CLA and it would be a nice comparison if they really did directly compete but I don't think the 2 series will fall under the same price category as the CLA. If a base 1 series started at around $36,000 then how much can the Bmw 2 series be really priced at.
 

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The 2 series should be good, one part where it might steal some of the spot light from the CLA is the fact that it might start out as a RWD sedan unlike the CLA where it's a FWD vehicle unless you opt for 4matic.

So people who want a drivers car with RWD for low-mid $30k might just go to BMW unless they want to add 4matic to a CLA.
 

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It'll be a good competition, im sure the results at the end of 2013 will be interesting. But with that being said the whole drivetrain thing is pretty much a drivers preference. Many could argue that its safer to buy an AWD but just look at BMW in the past when majority of their vehicles were RWD and they SOLD. So we will have to see what kind of impact the 4matic will make in the segment.
 

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If it's an Audi under there, please leave the cover on!
 
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haha. Personally I have 0 interest in Audi. I prefer Mercedes and BMW. I have always found Audis to be oddly ugly.
 

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How would you rank Lexus against BMW/Mercedes/Audi? I love their flagship model the LFA but never really paid much attention to their other offerings. How do their models compare to the Mercedes/BMW lines? Which model would you equate to the CLA?


Sorry if these questions should very newbish, I'm here to learn :).
 

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They're devoid of style, especially the hideous front ends. The fairy light LEDs are atrocious. Summary: tarted up VWs for an additional 10 grand.
 

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I am going to have to agree with Mike T.

They are really just fancy VW. They share similar parts. The R8 stole its motor from lamborghini.

They buy up companies and use all of them like parts bins.

The Audi front ends are the most boring out of all the germans. Most their cars are FWD. They handle very front heavy.

I've always found this review to be humorous.
 
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