Mercedes plans to sell 130,000 units of the new CLK convertible

Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz is confident of the success of its new CLK convertible. The Stuttgart-based company hopes to sell 130,000 units during the car's life cycle. Only 115,000 units were produced of its predecessor, which was launched in 1998.

Mercedes-Benz expects to sell 21,000 CLK convertibles by the end of 2003 and hopes to increase sales to 30,000 in 2004. An estimated 37 percent will be sold in Germany and 32 percent in the USA. The convertible will be launched in the US market in September. A further 22 percent will be sold in western European countries other than Germany. The rest of the world will account for the remainder.

The CLK convertible is manufactured by Karmann, which has a daily capacity of 120 units of the model at its Osnabruck plant.

Development of the CLK cost approximately 130 million euros.

Although 40 percent of all Mercedes-Benz models are sold with diesel engines, there are no plans for a diesel version of the convertible because of insufficient customer interest. Neither does the group believe a four-wheel-drive version is necessary. Four-wheel drive has only recently been introduced in Mercedes-Benz models.

The CLK convertible comes with a choice of five engines, ranging in power from 163hp to 367hp. Prices start at 41,644 euros, which means the new version costs 2,400 euros more than its predecessor but it has automatic climate control as standard.

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