In this paper we propose a latent class distance association model for clustering in the predictor space of large contingency tables with a categorical response variable. The rows of such a table are characterized as profiles of a set of explanatory variables, while the columns represent a single outcome variable. In many cases such tables are sparse, with many zero entries, which makes traditional models problematic. By clustering the row profiles into a few specific classes and representing these together with the categories of the response variable in a low-dimensional Euclidean space using a distance association model, a parsimonious prediction model can be obtained. A generalized EM algorithm is proposed to estimate the model parameters and the adjusted Bayesian information criterion statistic is employed to test the number of mixture components and the dimensionality of the representation. An empirical example highlighting the advantages of the new approach and comparing it with traditional approaches is presented.