Mercedes is having a grim time in the Chinese market, repeated promises to catch up with their German cousins at BMW and Audi have been issued and failed to materialize time and time again, the joint venture between Beijing Auto and Daimler seems to produce a seldom few vehicles in China each month. In January 2013 Benz saw sales of 4,505 domestically made cars, namely the C, E and GLK series which dropped to 2,813 units in February. In the ‘slow’ month of February, BMW sold 11,236 units and Audi sold 15,440 units. Clearly Mercedes needs something a little more exciting in their armoury if they are going to get anywhere near BMW or Audi in the next decade, the company are now pinning their hopes on the CLA.
According to recent Chinese media reports the CLA will first be imported into China at the end of the year and will then see Chinese production in early 2014 with prices expected to be around the 280,000RMB marker for the imported model and could potentially drop to around 210,000RMB to 230,000RMB when locally produced – this could put the CLA in direct competition with the future Audi A3 Sedan when it is launched this year.