by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Double market launch: the new E-Class and CLA receive outstanding customer response

Last weekend, two new models from Mercedes-Benz celebrated their market launch in Germany. The dealer premiere of the CLA and E-Class attracted around 270,000 visitors to the showrooms.

"The showroom premiere of the new CLA and the new E-Class was a huge success. Our new vehicles have highly appealed to customers," says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Vice President, Sales & Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. "At the heart of our brand, the E-Class is a key component of our growth strategy, Mercedes-Benz 2020. With the CLA, we are also targetting a whole new, young audience." In the U.S., the CLA arrives on the market this fall. The E-Class sedan and station wagon celebrate the launch in the U.S. and in China in July.

The saloon and estate versions of the new E-Class have been extensively revised as never before. The new CLA is the first compact four-door coupé from Mercedes-Benz and simultaneously sets itself as new aerodynamics world champion with a drag coefficient of 0.22. With more than 3,000 test drives, the interested customers have personally convinced themselves of the increased efficiency of the new engines and the forward-looking safety level of the assistance systems which equip the new models. In the coming days, about 3,300 additional trials were agreed.

The new E-Class and the CLA also met very positive response during the first tests of the media. In February, a total of around 840 journalists experienced the new E-Class at the driving event in Barcelona in person. Around 650 journalists tested the CLA in March in St. Tropez and Marseille.

The first customer was handed over the keys of its brand new CLA four-door coupe at the Mercedes-Benz Customer Center in Rastatt, a cirrus white coloured CLA 220 CDI. "We are pleased we have started delivery of the CLA, the third model of the new compact lineup, to our customers," said Waldemar Epple, Head of Mercedes-Benz Customer Center in Rastatt, at the vehicle handover. After the launch of the B-Class in November 2011 and the A-Class in September 2012, the CLA is the third model of the new Mercedes-Benz compact car generation. With the sporty coupe, Mercedes-Benz specifically targets the "Young Elite Lifestyle" in order to attract new customers to the brand with the star especially in the U.S. . The CLA is the first compact model from Mercedes-Benz to showcase Stateside. The progressive, dynamic appearance of the CLA was acknowledged by international design experts even before its launch and was granted the prestigious "red dot design award" for its outstanding design in March 2013.

The new CLA has been produced at the Kecskemét plant in Hungary since the end of January 2013, where an additional shift will be introduced on Saturdays beginning with the second quarter when required. In order to meet all customer requirements with the E-Class, plant management and works council have agreed for flexible working hours and additional production capacity for the current year in Sindelfingen. This production shifts are temporarily extended during the week with twelve additional Saturdays. The production of sedan and station wagon runs from March 1st. Mercedes-Benz expects significant sales volume pulses for the new E-Class in the second half of this year.

The eight generations of the E-Class have spread over 60 years and have been sold in more than 13 million units, which makes it the most successful Mercedes-Benz fleet volume model series in history. Over 700,000 sedans of the previous generation E-Class were sold since its launch in 2009, while the wagon was bought by more than 100,000 customers since summer of the same year. The E-Class impresses with outstanding comfort and highest safety standards. In July 2012, the E-Class once again took the first place in its category for top class customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power study.

Credits: Daimler AG

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