There’s little argument that the CLA has been and will be a relative global success for Mercedes-Benz, but U.S. sales declined (on a month-to-month basis) in November 2013 and the seven subsequent months, rising only slightly to 1658 in June 2014.
4895 CLAs were sold in October 2013, its first full month of availability, thanks to some pent-up demand. But as the Q2 results in this chart show, the CLA took another hit when the Audi A3 became readily available; when the BMW 2-Series became more common, as well. (All inventory results in the third tab come from Cars.com.)
The CLA has also enjoyed favourable timing in Mercedes-Benz’s own U.S. showrooms, thanks to the demise of the current C-Class. Yet soon, Mercedes-Benz clientele may look on the C-Class in an altogether more favourable light.
The W205 C-Class is a stunner: less divisive than the CLA, but distinctly more upscale. Sure, it’s more expensive. But it’s not as though thousands of CLA buyers were actually spending $29,900 on a CLA250 in the first place.
As for the A3, not only are sales relatively high at the moment, but Audi USA actually has A3s to sell. CLA availability is rather limited. The BMW 2-Series, with its limiting coupe-only bodystyle, is not going to be as common a car on dealer lots or in customer driveways. Even as an S3, the entry-level Audi does not become a CLA45 AMG fighter, but that has little impact on the car’s overall success.
The A3 looks like a proper Audi. Proper Audis have perhaps become too conservatively styled, and Audi isn’t stepping outside the box as often as I’d like, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t handsome. (Aston Martins all look the same, too, and they’ve looked the same for some time, but they’re still beautiful.)
As for Acura, they’ve sold 8357 ILX sedans so far this year, a 22% year-over-year decline. Lexus CT200h sales have risen 10% to 8337 through the first six months of 2014. Buick has sold 22,090 Veranos, a 6% drop, although it’s worth pointing out that the base price of the A3 and CLA is 26% higher than the base price of the Buick.