SEATTLE, Washington, USA -- Mercedes-Benz USA expects its GLA to be in short supply when the vehicle debuts in September because of the segment's growing popularity. The compact crossover debuted in Europe in March.
The GLA may be scarcer than the CLA compact sedan that went on sale a year ago because of the "crossover-crazy market," CEO Steve Cannon said.
Since its U.S. debut in September, CLA demand has been strong and supply has fallen to as low as nine days – far from the optimal 45-day supply Mercedes covets, he said. Supply is now below 30 days, he said.
Cannon expects a similar pinch for the GLA.
"We have production constraints. We are not going to be able to get as many as we want," Cannon said in an interview at a press event here. "We will not find out where the natural volume is."
Cannon said the United States is competing for vehicle allocation with China, where demand is equally strong. The United States is Mercedes' largest market, but China is likely to become No. 1 next year, he said.
In 2013, Mercedes-Benz USA also received vehicles from slumping Europe. But with European sales rising, "we are not getting them this year," Cannon said. Mercedes has sold nearly 17,000 GLAs in Europe since the car's debut, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
The GLA will competes against the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque.