The positioning: Ground-breaking products from the inventor of the four-door

Oct 4, 2010
  • Looking back: more than 170,000 models of the first CLS sold worldwide
  • Looking forward: European market launch of the new CLS in January 2011
A generation ahead: with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz created a new vehicle category in 2003 which for the first time combined the elegance and dynamism of a coupé with the comfort and functionality of a saloon. The customers were delighted, the competition taken aback: for many years the CLS remained the only four-door coupé in its class and since October 2004 it has been the car of choice for some 170,000 buyers worldwide. A surprisingly large number of them were buying their first Mercedes-Benz at the time. "Customers all over the world have rewarded us for our courage in launching a completely new vehicle concept onto the market," explains a delighted Dr Joachim Schmidt, Head of Sales & Marketing for Mercedes-Benz. "And with its exciting design and refined sportiness, the new edition of the CLS also benefits from the fact that we are a whole generation ahead of the competition with our four-door Coupé."
The first CLS, which first appeared as a study entitled "Vision CLS" at the IAA in 2003, was, as a design icon, a clear statement: 64 percent of European customers bought it on the grounds of its design. This was the clear result of the New Car Buyer Survey. The fact that its shape and form has a timeless beauty is demonstrated not just by the countless design prizes won but also by winning the German industry magazine "Motor Klassik" readers' award: in 2009 the CLS was voted "the Classic Car of the Future".
With its out-of-the-ordinary design, the new CLS is following on in the footsteps of its predecessor and will appeal to car connoisseurs who appreciate sense and sensibility. In addition to its special shape and form, and the perfect craftsmanship deployed, it also fulfils its technical role as an innovator: so it is that the new CLS is launched from the start with completely new engines. In combination with further measures to increase efficiency such as the ECO start/stop function or the more advanced 7-G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, this gives a saving in fuel consumption of up to 25 percent. Further brand-new features include the Active Parking Assist and the LED High Performance headlamps, which for the first time offer all the dynamic light functions in LED technology (for more information on both, please see the section "Active Safety"). Given the CLS customers' traditional willingness to
accept innovations, market researchers for Mercedes are already forecasting take-up rates for both innovations of over 80 percent.
Europe will be the largest market for the CLS: with an estimated share of sales of 46 percent, nearly every second CLS is expected to be delivered to the ECE states. It will go on sale in January 2011. In North America, where only the two most powerful models will be sold, the market launch will take place four months later.