Luxury Cars, Affordable


Audi just announced its new A3 sedan will be priced at $29, 900—which, by no small coincidence, is the exact same sticker price as Mercedes’ much-hyped, luxury-for-less CLA.

Starting at the beginning of 2013, and continuing on with a Super Bowl ad featuring swimsuit model Kate Upton, consumers have been hearing about Mercedes new CLA line for months. The hype mostly centers on the price point of the model (the CLA, not Upton). With a sticker starting at an unprecedented (for Mercedes) $29, 900, the CLA has been described as “attainable” and “brand-extending, ” among other things.

Some have questioned the wisdom of such an “affordable luxury” option. It could devalue the brand. One can easily imagine a customer who might otherwise purchase a $60, 000 Mercedes to decide to buy a Mercedes for half the price instead. Or perhaps decide that they’re no longer interested in a brand that’s within reach of the middle class. Nonetheless, because of the possibility of attracting consumers who otherwise wouldn’t consider a Mercedes at this point in their lives—because they’re young or just aren’t in the financial position to buy a car for over $50, 000—the automaker made its move.

“We are going to offer people a whole new way to enter the Mercedes family, ” Joachim Schmidt, head of sales and marketing for Mercedes, explained to the when the car was introduced in January. “It will be much more attainable … and win over customers who never thought they could consider a Mercedes.”

(MORE: That Sub-$30, 000 Is Going to Cost More Than Advertised)

At least initially, the strategy seems to be paying off for Mercedes. As Bloomberg News reported, during the first week it was on sale in September, Mercedes sold more than 2, 300 CLAs, boosting sales 6.7% for the automaker compared to the previous year and giving Mercedes a large lead over BMW in the overall battle for 2013 luxury car sales.

Mercedes wallpapers all models.
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Popular Q&A

Are used luxury cars more affordable than new standard cars?

Used luxury cars can be more expensive or less. It depends on the condition of the cars, or how rare they are. Sometimes, it is cheaper to buy a new standard car.

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