Mercedes-Benz’s new compact range has proven a hit in the markets where the stylish offerings are sold, and it looks like that success will be repeated in the U.S. The automaker’s local chief, Steve Cannon, is confident of reaching 60,000 combined annual sales split evenly between the CLA-Class sedan and upcoming GLA-Class crossover.

"We did not come to a volume price point to do niche volume," Cannon told Automotive News (subscription required),  referring to the CLA’s $30,825 (including destination) starting price. "Our only constraint will be global production capacity."

Global demand for the cars has been so strong that local sales of the CLA, which commenced in September, has been limited, and it’s likely the same will be true for the GLA. But Mercedes is expanding its production  base to accommodate the demand, even opening up a new plant in Hungary and soon in Brazil. There’s even talk that some production may be shared at a Nissan plant in Mexico.

In the longer term, Cannon hopes the CLA will overtake the C-Class as the Mercedes brand’s most popular model. Currently it’s selling around 75,000 C-Class models locally.  The hope is that cars like the CLA and GLA will lure younger buyers and expand the brand’s reach. The average age of a C-Class buyer is 50.

The U.S. will also receive the B-Class Electric Drive in Mercedes' compact car range, though sales of this model will be limited.


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