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-   -   MB's strategy CLS vs A Class (https://mbworld.org/forums/e-class-w213/718924-mbs-strategy-cls-vs-class.html)

jhpmbusa 08-21-2018 07:52 PM

MB's strategy CLS vs A Class
 
Has any of you questioned why the new CLS has the nearly the same front as the lowest entry level A-Class? Just not sure what MB's strategy is here. Also, considering the CLS has the same interior as the E class, how do you justify paying so much more for it? I mean yes it has a different engine but still - does that justify a 1,000 lease payment?

I have seen the new CLS already a few times (unreleased yet) but i work 2 mins away from the old MB HQ in NJ. doesn't look to stunning at all...

superangrypenguin 08-21-2018 08:35 PM

Wrong forum...

Germancar1 08-21-2018 08:45 PM

It's called family/brand identity, they've been doing in one form or another for years.

M

jhpmbusa 08-21-2018 09:00 PM


Originally Posted by superangrypenguin (Post 7534949)
Wrong forum...

Its the correct forum- just wanted to see what you guys think coming from an E class. That's all.

haha you are allowed to talk about other cars here.

jhpmbusa 08-21-2018 09:08 PM


Originally Posted by Germancar1 (Post 7534958)
It's called family/brand identity, they've been doing in one form or another for years.

M

When the CLA250 was first introduced to the USA, the company had a potential risk and one of the biggest worries was that it might diminish the brand image of selling luxury/prestigious cars. Fast forward a few years and you can say it really didn't have a negative impact at all. But that being said, you don't make the entry level car look like one of your highest tiered cars. The A class is the lowest in the line up and is positioned even lower than the CLA and the B class - but then why make it look like your second most expensive car in the sedan line up? That being said I think the CLA will probably look very similar to the CLS as well... even the E class now is very hard to tell from the C Class. The prior CLS was the 4 door coupe that had looks like no other, was very special, sleek and prestigious...

ItalianJoe1 08-21-2018 09:14 PM


Originally Posted by jhpmbusa (Post 7534917)
Has any of you questioned why the new CLS has the nearly the same front as the lowest entry level A-Class? Just not sure what MB's strategy is here. Also, considering the CLS has the same interior as the E class, how do you justify paying so much more for it? I mean yes it has a different engine but still - does that justify a 1,000 lease payment?

I have seen the new CLS already a few times (unreleased yet) but i work 2 mins away from the old MB HQ in NJ. doesn't look to stunning at all...

The "goal" is brand identity. Think audi and lexus with the big stupid grilles. I work at MB and have to look to see the difference between a 205 and a 213 at first glance. When you see them all day, they start to blend together. Promotion logic says, make every model easily recognizable as an MB, and make them harder to distinguish from each other, to pull lower tier buyers into an MB for the status symbol effect. You can buy a nice C class that looks shockingly similar to an E or S class, for a lot less money. That's the point.

jhpmbusa 08-21-2018 09:29 PM


Originally Posted by ItalianJoe1 (Post 7534980)
The "goal" is brand identity. Think audi and lexus with the big stupid grilles. I work at MB and have to look to see the difference between a 205 and a 213 at first glance. When you see them all day, they start to blend together. Promotion logic says, make every model easily recognizable as an MB, and make them harder to distinguish from each other, to pull lower tier buyers into an MB for the status symbol effect. You can buy a nice C class that looks shockingly similar to an E or S class, for a lot less money. That's the point.

Wonder if its the best solution though? with the big star up front in every MB there is no way you will think its another brand, regardless. And if sales is truly the reason for doing this, you can easily have an good looking A and CLS with different looks and still sell plenty. The flip side is of course is that the customer's buying the higher class cars want to distinguish themselves from the lower class cars.

Cars have always been a status symbol of some sort, and its kind of disappointing when its so hard to tell one apart from the other now. I think now we believe its OK for an E Class to have a 4 cylinder, but the 1st year this happened it was like blasphemy haha plus it looked exactly like an extended C Class..

Plus the lease programs for the 450s are now the same price as the 550s when there used to be no 450s. Long story short, the solid perception of the bold E class doesn't exist in my mind anymore, from the outside appearance at least. Not that Im saying its ugly looking car or anything, but the stature isnt there anymore. The interior however is stunning for sure.

jhpmbusa 08-21-2018 09:41 PM

So lets say the C class is a 40k car, starting price and the E Class is around 52k starting, considering it has the same engine, very similar exterior but just extended in length and different interior I say it somewhat justifies the 12k difference. The CLS if it holds to the current price, it will start at 75k. different engine than the E class, different exterior but somewhat same in size and same E class platform and same interior. Does the engine/ exterior justify for a 25k price increase? this was basically the main question i had in mind. Wanted to know what you guys thought considering most of us has an E class in this part of the sub-forum.

michaelleongcl 08-21-2018 10:34 PM

The cls rides more like an s class than an e class. And the prestige of owning a rarer car justify for its price tag imo

jhpmbusa 08-21-2018 10:52 PM


Originally Posted by michaelleongcl (Post 7535065)
The cls rides more like an s class than an e class. And the prestige of owning a rarer car justify for its price tag imo

this is one of my concerns, I have a feeling the new cls will ride just like the e class. in the past the c class and the e class were 2 different animals. now the c drives just like an e class.

Some even believe the current generations c class drives better than the current e class (me being one of them) and a lot has agreed as well on this forum that the current e class is the crappiest benz they ever drove.

and considering the new cls isnt even out yet Im pretty sure you are basing your opinion the current/prior CLS, which of course is a completely different car and not a run of the mill/cookie cutter that MB is starting to shift over to.

If you really think about is, is the E300 really an E class? or is it just an extended C class with a better interior? how many components is it really sharing? I feel like all the R&D went into the c class (which came first) and then the E class is just an extended version sharing many components. The ride quality isn't much better, if not even worse (once again this is my opinion) but many have felt the same as well. This is my 3rd E class since 2014, I had the e350 sedan and convertible and 2 2015 c300s and a 2014 SL550. So I am speaking out of some recent generation experience.

rbrylaw 08-21-2018 11:20 PM


Originally Posted by jhpmbusa (Post 7535079)
this is one of my concerns, I have a feeling the new cls will ride just like the e class. in the past the c class and the e class were 2 different animals. now the c drives just like an e class.

Some even believe the current generations c class drives better than the current e class (me being one of them) and a lot has agreed as well on this forum that the current e class is the crappiest benz they ever drove.

and considering the new cls isnt even out yet Im pretty sure you are basing your opinion the current/prior CLS, which of course is a completely different car and not a run of the mill/cookie cutter that MB is starting to shift over to.

If you really think about is, is the E300 really an E class? or is it just an extended C class with a better interior? how many components is it really sharing? I feel like all the R&D went into the c class (which came first) and then the E class is just an extended version sharing many components. The ride quality isn't much better, if not even worse (once again this is my opinion) but many have felt the same as well. This is my 3rd E class since 2014, I had the e350 sedan and convertible and 2 2015 c300s and a 2014 SL550. So I am speaking out of some recent generation experience.

Coming from a C Class to the E Class, I have to really disagree with your comment that a C and E drive the same. You make some broad sweeping comments, which I don't think many really agree with. I certainly don't. If you want to stay on styling, that's fine. The E, C and S share many similar design elements. But you can't be serious when you say they drive the same. They most definitely DO NOT.

And on styling, do you not also see that Audi and BMW have done the very same thing. When I'm behind a 3 or 5 Series BMW, I'm hard pressed to see the difference until I see the badge. The very same can be said of Audi. It's almost impossible to see the difference between an A6, A5 or A4. The styling is the family resemblance. This isn't limited to Mercedes at all. But it doesn't mean all the cars drive the same, whether it's BMW, Audi or Mercedes.

jhpmbusa 08-22-2018 12:06 AM


Originally Posted by rbrylaw (Post 7535103)
Coming from a C Class to the E Class, I have to really disagree with your comment that a C and E drive the same. You make some broad sweeping comments, which I don't think many really agree with. I certainly don't. If you want to stay on styling, that's fine. The E, C and S share many similar design elements. But you can't be serious when you say they drive the same. They most definitely DO NOT.

And on styling, do you not also see that Audi and BMW have done the very same thing. When I'm behind a 3 or 5 Series BMW, I'm hard pressed to see the difference until I see the badge. The very same can be said of Audi. It's almost impossible to see the difference between an A6, A5 or A4. The styling is the family resemblance. This isn't limited to Mercedes at all. But it doesn't mean all the cars drive the same, whether it's BMW, Audi or Mercedes.

what year was your c class by the way and was it a base, sport or luxury? Mine was a sport.

And yes i agree with you that Audis look very similiar, Audis have always been famous for not changing their design to drastically from a current to a redesign model as well. Their design philosophy has always been to stay away from the flashier spectrum too. But back to my other point regarding sales, if this is a great strategy - why aren't they outselling MB or Benz ( we probably dont need to debate this topic as looks aren't everything and won't prove why they cannot outsell MB or Benz).

Also, I do not think the 3 or 5 series looks similar but that's your opinion, so i respect that and what catches your attention is personal.

Cao Black 08-22-2018 12:24 AM


Originally Posted by jhpmbusa (Post 7534990)
Wonder if its the best solution though? with the big star up front in every MB there is no way you will think its another brand, regardless. And if sales is truly the reason for doing this, you can easily have an good looking A and CLS with different looks and still sell plenty. The flip side is of course is that the customer's buying the higher class cars want to distinguish themselves from the lower class cars.

Cars have always been a status symbol of some sort, and its kind of disappointing when its so hard to tell one apart from the other now. I think now we believe its OK for an E Class to have a 4 cylinder, but the 1st year this happened it was like blasphemy haha plus it looked exactly like an extended C Class..

Plus the lease programs for the 450s are now the same price as the 550s when there used to be no 450s. Long story short, the solid perception of the bold E class doesn't exist in my mind anymore, from the outside appearance at least. Not that Im saying its ugly looking car or anything, but the stature isnt there anymore. The interior however is stunning for sure.

When the E350 was "facelifted" in 2014 the front grille was changed from the traditional horizontal bars to the sport style (big logo, no stand up star on the hood). I was okay with that at the time, but now find myself wishing for the S class front end offered only on W213 luxury models, for exactly the reason you mention. The A looks like the CLA, looks like the C, looks like the E, and so on. Maybe a mistake on Mercedes part because it associates the E class with all those below it, rather than the elegant, luxurious model above it. But then again, nearly all the competition has the same approach these days.

Germancar1 08-22-2018 12:36 AM


Originally Posted by jhpmbusa (Post 7534973)
When the CLA250 was first introduced to the USA, the company had a potential risk and one of the biggest worries was that it might diminish the brand image of selling luxury/prestigious cars. Fast forward a few years and you can say it really didn't have a negative impact at all. But that being said, you don't make the entry level car look like one of your highest tiered cars. The A class is the lowest in the line up and is positioned even lower than the CLA and the B class - but then why make it look like your second most expensive car in the sedan line up? That being said I think the CLA will probably look very similar to the CLS as well... even the E class now is very hard to tell from the C Class. The prior CLS was the 4 door coupe that had looks like no other, was very special, sleek and prestigious...

You just contradicted your own point here. If the CLA's looks didn't harm the brand then why would they change it up this time? The A-Class is no different, it's still a entry level, FWD car that won't hurt MB's image one bit. They day Mercedes can't move their pricier cars because of the cheap ones, then they'll have a problem. The strategy of making them all look alike has worked overwhelmingly so far. You're getting caught on the model, when it doesn't matter. The A and CLA are the same car all the same.

M

Germancar1 08-22-2018 12:40 AM

The C and E definitely don't drive the same. The S drives better than either by a mile. Mercedes pretty much did the same thing back in the 80's with the 190E, 300E and 560SEL. I don't see the issue here because the drive separates them easily. Now what I wouldn't mind seeing is the E go back to being the standout middle child like it was in 1996-2016. The round lamp look was everything in the W210 and W211 and 4 square lamps on the W212. They could go back to that IMO. C and S have always looked very similar.

M

jhpmbusa 08-22-2018 07:24 AM


Originally Posted by Germancar1 (Post 7535144)
You just contradicted your own point here. If the CLA's looks didn't harm the brand then why would they change it up this time? The A-Class is no different, it's still a entry level, FWD car that won't hurt MB's image one bit. They day Mercedes can't move their pricier cars because of the cheap ones, then they'll have a problem. The strategy of making them all look alike has worked overwhelmingly so far. You're getting caught on the model, when it doesn't matter. The A and CLA are the same car all the same.

M

no, no, the cla's position didnt harm the brand. But the CLA didn't come in looking like a mini S class or CLS neither. so its not exactly the point im am trying to pick out here. There is no car in the lineup currently that the CLA imitates looks wise either. Nor did the CLA have the same engine as any of its bigger brothers. It was branded as an entry level car, the interior held completely true to that, the engine and the ride. I worked for MB USA Headquarters for over 4 years before they picked up and left to Atlanta, GA. So i do have some extensive experiences with these cars. Just saying this so you dont think - this is all in my head =)

jhpmbusa 08-22-2018 07:27 AM


Originally Posted by Germancar1 (Post 7535147)
The C and E definitely don't drive the same. The S drives better than either by a mile. Mercedes pretty much did the same thing back in the 80's with the 190E, 300E and 560SEL. I don't see the issue here because the drive separates them easily. Now what I wouldn't mind seeing is the E go back to being the standout middle child like it was in 1996-2016. The round lamp look was everything in the W210 and W211 and 4 square lamps on the W212. They could go back to that IMO. C and S have always looked very similar.

M

my thoughts precisely, its great that most of made it in a point of life that we can drive an E class, but the S class is far superior and also much more expensive as well. I dont think I will spend the big $$$ on a daily driver S class anytime soon, so it would be nice if the E class was more special once again!

rbrylaw 08-22-2018 09:38 AM


Originally Posted by jhpmbusa (Post 7535124)
what year was your c class by the way and was it a base, sport or luxury? Mine was a sport.

And yes i agree with you that Audis look very similiar, Audis have always been famous for not changing their design to drastically from a current to a redesign model as well. Their design philosophy has always been to stay away from the flashier spectrum too. But back to my other point regarding sales, if this is a great strategy - why aren't they outselling MB or Benz ( we probably dont need to debate this topic as looks aren't everything and won't prove why they cannot outsell MB or Benz).

Also, I do not think the 3 or 5 series looks similar but that's your opinion, so i respect that and what catches your attention is personal.

My 2016 C300 was Sport, with just about every available option for the 2016 model year, including ventilated leather seats, Burmester, Comand, etc., etc. Nice as that car was, it can't hold a candle to how well my new E400 Drives. They don't feel the same at all. They just look very similar and I'm OK with that. Would I mind if it stood out more, no of course not. But the sum of the car is so good that it's OK if someone mistakes me rolling down the road in a C class when I'm actually in a E.

jhpmbusa 08-22-2018 10:07 AM


Originally Posted by rbrylaw (Post 7535311)
My 2016 C300 was Sport, with just about every available option for the 2016 model year, including ventilated leather seats, Burmester, Comand, etc., etc. Nice as that car was, it can't hold a candle to how well my new E400 Drives. They don't feel the same at all. They just look very similar and I'm OK with that. Would I mind if it stood out more, no of course not. But the sum of the car is so good that it's OK if someone mistakes me rolling down the road in a C class when I'm actually in a E.

its extremely good to hear you are enjoying your e400 and you can stand so strongly behind the product, perhaps my e300 was built on a Friday haha or maybe the e400 is quite different than the e300 other than just the engine... im pretty sure the added weight and the feel of the v6 makes it feel like a good ol solid benz. even on this forum people mentioned how great the e400 coupe was when comparing to the e300. Im am waiting for the 2019 e coupes to be available soon - as I will be able to drive it for around a week, will report back how different it is here after I get to experience for like a week, other than a quick test drive around the block.

Back when i used to visit Germany I had the opportunity to take several models on the autobahn for weeks at a time... my current e300 i barely feel comfortable driving 80+ on local highways!


TheFranchizeSLB 08-22-2018 01:54 PM


Originally Posted by jhpmbusa (Post 7535229)
no, no, the cla's position didnt harm the brand. But the CLA didn't come in looking like a mini S class or CLS neither. so its not exactly the point im am trying to pick out here. There is no car in the lineup currently that the CLA imitates looks wise either. Nor did the CLA have the same engine as any of its bigger brothers. It was branded as an entry level car, the interior held completely true to that, the engine and the ride. I worked for MB USA Headquarters for over 4 years before they picked up and left to Atlanta, GA. So i do have some extensive experiences with these cars. Just saying this so you dont think - this is all in my head =)


while i hear what youre saying as far as no model difference in the looks department... the CLA is a mini/compact CLS... looks wise of course

parkwood 08-22-2018 06:02 PM

I have a slightly different take on this subject. Why shouldn't someone wanting a small city car aspire to it being high quality in engineering and design. MB has that reputation for c e and s. So it makes sense they are tapping into that market with the a and cla models. They hope those users as their wallets and waistlines expand will progress up the food chain to c e and s.
I was happy with my c estate but a bit of extra cargo space will be useful so have gone to an e. But an s or cls is just too big for me and I would never consider buying one. Here in Europe we are often more constrained for space especially in our old cities which developed long before cars developed so roads are narrow parking can be tight (if it exists) and the bigger your car the more of a hassle it becomes driving it around. Plus we are being constrained by our governments and made to act more thoughtfully about our consumption, we all depend on this planet being able to sustain us. Smaller does use less resource in lots of ways.

parkwood 08-23-2018 04:03 AM

Sorry I forgot to make the most important point (it was late) maybe small car owners would like an s class experience too, cosseted and luxurious, quiet and refined things not usually associated with a small city car the first I think of is a buzzbox.
So a small mercedes may go someway to meet that brief. And has been said a family look imparts the luxury brand look. Now whether physics come into play meaning a larger car is needed for a luxurious ride I do not know but I think mercedes are tapping into a rich seam......and let's not forget all the lifestyle marketing behind cars and branding in general we all fall for it to some degree or other 😉

jhpmbusa 08-23-2018 07:11 AM


Originally Posted by parkwood (Post 7536285)
Sorry I forgot to make the most important point (it was late) maybe small car owners would like an s class experience too, cosseted and luxurious, quiet and refined things not usually associated with a small city car the first I think of is a buzzbox.
So a small mercedes may go someway to meet that brief. And has been said a family look imparts the luxury brand look. Now whether physics come into play meaning a larger car is needed for a luxurious ride I do not know but I think mercedes are tapping into a rich seam......and let's not forget all the lifestyle marketing behind cars and branding in general we all fall for it to some degree or other 😉

I am all for small luxurious cars as well and have nothing against the idea. my only wish is that they stop making all them look the same. For example - when I am done with my E class lease, MB does not have any offering for me to get next... the S class is too big of a jump from an E class, the CLS will probably be as well, I am fine with the power the E300 puts out so I wont need to go into a 450 or 53. So the CLS would sort of be the next step, but to me the interior is the most important as that is where I stay the most during the course of the ownership and considering its nearly the same interior with lower a roof, I am going to pass paying an extra few hundred for it...e class ($500) CLS probably ($1,000) at the going rates,

So to me I might have to look into other brands after when my E lease is over just so I dont drive something very similar again. Looks like the Audi's are starting to step up their game though with their new A6... only time will tell.

parkwood 08-24-2018 05:46 PM

I can see your point 're wanting a different experience when you change otherwise why do so!
I have had 4 audi' s in the early 2000 and then the interiors were better than mercedes and equal to mercedes today.
A comment I would make I moved to VW from Ford and there was an appreciable improvement in build quality and engineering. Moving to audi from VW the body and interior were better than the then very good VW but the mechanicals were much the same and indeed look at an audi, VW and here in Europe where stablemates Seat or Skoda are sold as well and you seem the same mechanicals and other parts Inc interior trim. So when considering an audi remember it is a VW at heart😉.
I think audi always have the same family look and I struggle to differentiate between an a1 and a3. the a4 a6 is easier due to size the a5 is strikingly different. However the fit and finish on audi always look good and is better than any other vw brand. I felt i got my monies worth paying the extra.
I do think mb build is good but audi is a bit better (I have not been near 1 for 3 yrs though) however the mechanicals on an mb feel much better.
would I consider another audi...possibly but it will be mercedes to loose.
happy decision making 😉

SteveE400 08-27-2018 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by Germancar1 (Post 7535147)
Mercedes pretty much did the same thing back in the 80's with the 190E, 300E and 560SEL. . . . They could go back to that IMO. C and S have always looked very similar.
M

You took the words right out of my keyboard.

I had a 1988 190-E, and the only way I could tell the 190's from 260's or 300"s at any distance was the angle of the shut line between the sides of the trunk lid and the rear fenders. The 190's had straight vertical lines, while the 260's and 300's had angled lines. I'm sure if we looked long and hard at the current C and E-class cars, we would find similar subtleties that tell them apart.



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