Mercedes-Benz’s new CLA-Class is selling far better than the automaker had expected, according to Dieter Zetsche, the CEO of Mercedes' parent Daimler. The compact sedan, which is priced from $30,825, including destination, has proven so popular that tight supplies (in some cases just 10 days) are now causing Mercedes to lose potential sales.

"We could have sold twice as many vehicles, easily, compared to our planning," Zetsche told Automotive News (subscription required). The reaction has been "beyond our optimistic expectations."

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The CLA was launched in the U.S. a year ago and saw its sales peak at 4,895 units last October. However, back in May sales slowed to 1,214 units because of supply constraints. In response, Mercedes added a third shift at the car’s plant in Kecskemet, Hungary.

The plant made close to 110,000 CLAs over the past year and this figure is expected to grow now that the additional shift has been added. Some of these extra cars will reach U.S. showrooms, but Zetsche declined to say how many.

Note, Mercedes has just started selling GLA-Class compact and it may prove just as popular as the CLA. This model is priced from $32,225, including destination.


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