Q. Our 29-year-old salesman son says that this fall he’s going to buy a new Mercedes. When we expressed concern that he wasn’t quite in a financial position yet to be strapping himself to payments for a $40,000 car, he assured us that he’s aware of that and that this car is $29,000. We’re not finding anything Mercedes offers for less than about $36,000. Are we missing something?
A. Your son may be planning to be an early purchaser of the Mercedes CLA. It is a new offering from the carmaker, and it will be out, the company says, in September.
He won’t be able to buy it for $29,000, but the base price is $29,900 and the standard stuff that comes at that price is anything but bare bones. Still, it will be quite interesting to see if your son will be satisfied with the cheapest version of the vehicle or if he will feel the need to inch up the price – by the thousands – for some of the very appealing options.
The CLA, by the way, is getting a fair amount of pre-release attention because its price is a great entry level for that certain segment who want the luxury and also a luxury nameplate. Photos of the CLA show a really quite elegant vehicle, and the specs include fine safety features and technology.
Q. It is just wonderful that Ford is selling plug-in vehicles, but we were surprised to discover that only a limited number of dealerships get to sell them. Will the numbers grow any time soon so we can actually look at one?
A. Ford has been in the process of quadrupling the number of dealerships where plug-ins are sold – and the salespeople and service folks are on top of this new technology – for the last few months.
That means more than 900 dealerships are now or will soon be selling the Focus Electric, C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi. That’s one-third of the Ford dealerships in the U.S., Ford says, and by now, or very soon, every state will have at least one dealership selling such vehicles.