CLS350 US MSRP?

Does anyone know what the MSRP of the new CLS350 will be? Thanks!

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For now, the CLS350 is not going to be sold in the US market, but rumor is that it will eventually come here. All we are getting is the CLS500 and CLS55. The CLS500 is supposed to be positioned in price between an E500 and an S430. Preliminary information suggests that will be base a price in the mid to upper $60K's, putting vehicles equipped with the "usual" options in the low $70K's.
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- RODNEY




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On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 10:39:49 -0600, "Rodney T. Grill"

How come the US market always gets the new models last? The CLS350 and CLS500 are out already in Europe and Asia.
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It's just a guess, but maybe there are some issues with getting US DOT approval for these imports. I do know there are parts that have to be added and removed at the VPC's at the US ports, so maybe there is a delay in getting them ready for the new models. Maybe it's just because Europe is the "home" market for MBZ.
As for the engine size, MBZ is marketed as a luxury and performance brand in the US. This is why certain models never make it here and those that do are generally not offered in some of the more economical engine choices available in the rest of the world. For example, the smallest engine available in the E-class is the 3.2l V6 (soon to be replaced by the 3.5L V6). The US market just would not buy a European luxury car with the engine performance that of a Japanese economy car. We like power and when we spend two, three or even six times the price of an "average" car for a "luxury" car, we want it to perform.
Models like the A-class range are not sold here because they would not be seen as filling the need for luxury or performance. However, we are supposed to see the Compact Sport Tourer, which will be based on the A-class, but it will likely be a much different vehicle in terms of luxury and performance. When the Sprinter was brought to the US, it was first badged as a Freightliner, and then as a Dodge; never as MBZ. Also, this is not specific to MBZ. VW does the same thing. I have a cousin in Belgium that owns a VW Golf that looks just like the US model, but its interior and performance is much more "basic" than even our entry-level base model.
I guess a lot of this just has to do with what their market research indicates that the US customers will buy. Apparently Toyota, Honda and Nissan realized that they would not sell as many luxury models if they were branded with the same badge as their least expensive "basic transportation" models, so they created Lexus, Acura and Infiniti. Unfortunately, VW didn't understand this and thus they have Phaetons sitting on dealer lots with no buyers. Really, who would by an $80K luxury car from the same company that brought us the diesel Rabbit or the original Beetle? Maybe MBZ could transition itself in the US by realigning its luxury models to the Maybach brand and keeping the Mercedes-Benz brand for more basic or "near-luxury" models. Or, maybe they need to just scrap everything currently sold under the Chrysler brand and start introducing some decent "basic transportation" under that brand (A-class, Vaneo, sprinter, etc.).
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- RODNEY




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This week at Frankfurt airport saw a CLS available for rental from AutoSixt, one of the majors. It was on a stand outside the rental desk inside the terminal building. (Also a BMW 1.)
DAS
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