NEW YORK -- Mercedes-Benz has adjusted option packages on its new GLK-class premium SUV to help cope with an oversupply of high-priced versions.
Ernst Lieb, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, said the company exported too many high-end models for the January U.S. launch.
"We planned production in June and July of last year, and we didn't know where we would be in January," he said. "We had models coming at $40,000-plus (30,000 euros)."
Dealers say U.S. customers came into showrooms expecting to find more GLKs at the highly advertised price of $34,775 for the two-wheel-drive version. The all-wheel-drive starts at $36,775. Both prices include shipping. Instead, dealership stock consisted largely of vehicles loaded with options.
To lure buyers, Mercedes-Benz placed an interest rate of 1.9 percent for up to 66 months on the GLK class in February. This month, Mercedes changed its option package. The sunroof, a feature many buyers wanted, had been lumped into a $3,150 option package. Mercedes now offers it as a stand-alone option for $1,450.
A multimedia package, including a navigation system, was priced at $3,350. It can now be ordered separately for $1,800.
Dealers who ordered cars with both option packages were given $2,000 in support.