Mercedes-Benz will be unveiling a compact SUV based on the MFA platform, which will be called the GLA. The MFA (modular front architecture) is the German automakers latest platform, which it intends to use in atleast 5 models by 2015. The company has already unveiled three cars on this platform – the new A-Class, B-Class and CLA-Class. While the B-Class is set to go on sale in India next month, the A-Class will arrive next year and the CLA-Class will see an Indian debut by 2014.
The Mercedes CLA-Class is a small sized sedan, which will compete with the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series Sedan. The MFA platform will also spawn a crossover based on the A-Class. The GLA is expected to arrive in India in 2014 and will rival Audi’s Q3 and BMW’s X1. It will be a front-wheel drive vehicle, just like all other cars based on the MFA platform. The GLA will also carry forward the interiors of the A-Class, which are one of the best in the segment.
Mercedes-Benz plans to locally produce the GLA in India by the middle of this decade. The company is investing heavily in setting up assembly lines at its Chakan facility. These assembly lines are being set up to enable CKD operations for the A-Class and B-Class. Mercedes is also contemplating local manufacturing of these cars to increase sales of these cars. Mercedes cannot bring the GLA before 2014 and has thus decided to concentrate on dealership expansion. The B-Class serves as a stop-gap method till the GLA crossover arrives.