US: Mercedes plans 30 new models in next 7 years - MBUSA chief
Mercedes is eyeing a high level of conquest sales for the CLA
Steve Cannon, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) has told members of the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) that the company plans to introduce thirty new models in the next seven years. He said this will constitute the biggest growth phase in Mercedes' history in the US.
"We just had the highest sales year in our history and carried that over to our best January on record. And, according to just released registration data, more customers put a Mercedes-Benz in their driveway last year than any other luxury make," Cannon said. "We're going to take this forward with a continuing influx of innovative new products for our current owners and we'll enter other segments to bring new buyers to the brand." Cannon estimated that the product offensive would average out to a new vehicle every quarter for the next seven years.
For 2013, the company plans a new generation of its flagship S-Class model line as well as a “resetting of the gateway to the Mercedes-Benz brand" with the introduction of the CLA, a 208-hp turbocharged four-door coupe (base price in the US $29,900 MSRP). Both of those models will arrive in the US in the second half of the year.
Mercedes has high hopes for the CLA in gaining conquest customers in the US. "The CLA will have the highest conquest of any of our models. This combination of top conquest and top loyalty means that when we bring new buyers to the brand, they tend to stay with us. Broadening our product offering helps ensure that whatever their needs, we have something in our portfolio for them," said Cannon.
Cannon also highlighted other product actions such as the facelift of the E-Class, the arrival of BlueTech clean diesels and additional hybrids.
"From top to bottom, we're going to reinvent and reinvigorate the Mercedes-Benz brand over the next few years and bring it to new places in this market both with product and with the customer experience," said Cannon.