Mercedes-Benz says production of its second-generation CLA has officially kicked off at the Kecskemét plant in Hungary, which will exclusively produce the new model for the world market.

Revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, the new CLA is scheduled to launch in South Africa in the third quarter of 2019. It is expected to slot in above the new A-Class Sedan.

"The ramp-up of the new CLA coupé once again demonstrates the effectiveness of our international production network for the compact models of Mercedes-Benz Cars,” said Markus Schäfer, member of the divisional board of management of Mercedes-Benz Cars in the production and supply chain division.

“The success story of the preceding model was already closely associated with the Kecskemét plant. We are now writing the next chapter in this story.”

Mercedes-Benz says “extensive preparatory measures” were made at the plant for the ramp-up in production of both the A-Class hatch and new CLA. The Kecskemét factory employs some 4 700 workers and produced more than 190 000 units in 2018.

The new CLA measures 4 688 mm long and 1 830 mm wide (increases over the original of 48 mm and 53 mm, respectively), while its height has been cut two millimetres to 1 439 mm. The wheelbase, meanwhile, grows some 30 mm to 2 729 mm. Boot capacity, interestingly, is down ten litres to 460.
Mercedes-Benz CLA production