The iconic German brand, Mercedes-Benz, is a multinational Daimler AG division and part of the German trio reckoned across the world for its luxury cars. Headquartered at the city of Stuttgard, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany and Mercedes-Benz is known for designing and producing luxury automobiles, coaches, buses, and trucks. The luxury car maker forayed in the Indian automotive market in year 1994 as Daimler. Later when it entered into joint venture with Chrysler, its Indian subsidiary got renamed as DaimlerChrysler India Private Ltd. In 2007, Daimler sold its shares to Chrysler and turned Daimler. The Indian luxury vehicle unit was renamed as Mercedes-Benz India.
Mercedes-Benz India also joined forces with the homegrown automaker Tata Motors. The joint venture then released the E220 in our country. It was in year 1954 when Mercedes and Tata joined forces to make medium sized commercial vehicles. Tata Motors’ Pimpri located production unit was used for assembling their luxury cars. This unit was also utilized by the German car maker for assembling and painting its cars. Finally in 2000-01, Tata Motors traded its entire stake to Mercedes-Benz India.
Eberhard Kern holds the position of CEO and Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz India. A 1963 born, the man completed his University Degree in 1985 from Stuttgart. Before joining Mercedes-Benz’s Indian unit, Eberhard worked as the CEO and President of Mercedes Taiwan based unit. Along with him, he brought-in his extensive experience to Indian market in the marketing and sales domains. Currently, he takes responsibility for all Mercedes-Benz’s decisions and operations taking place in India.
It was year 2009 when a new production plant was inaugurated by Mercedes-Benz India in Chakan, Pune, Maharashtra. The manufacturing facility was completed in just 13 months and turned out to be one of the speediest green-field projects to be ever built in India. This unit’s area totals to be around 100 acres along with an independent vehicle assembling facility for commercial vehicles and passenger cars. It was built with the ides of meeting all kind of expansion plans that the company might have in near future in India. In the beginning, it was designed only for assembling Mercedes E-Class, S-Class and C-Class, but it bears enough flexibility to produce a number of other models in coming years. The auto maker plans to begin assembling several new models like the GL, CLA, GL and GLA in coming years.
Mercedes-Benz also owns a R&D (Research and Development) centre in Bangalore which is also known as MBRDI. In the beginning in year 1996, MBRDI worked only with eight employees, however, as the times passed it expanded its work long with team strength. At present, it has a team with around 350 teammates. It is, at present, the largest R&D facility that Mercedes-Benz owns outside Germany. It is mainly used for research in areas related to Design, Computer Simulation, IT-Services and Electrical/Electronics.
Product & Services
Mercedes-Benz India owns the most extensive dealerships network in India. Presently, the car maker has more than 80 dealerships that cover all major cities of our country. Along with it, the German manufacturer is also planning to increase number of its outlets across tier II cities.
The Daimler based automaker also forayed into the second hand car segment with launch of 'Mercedes-Benz Certified' in India in December, 2014. The company inaugurated 12 pre-owned car dealerships across the nation. These dealerships offer customers a completely new place for picking a Mercedes-Benz car. The outlets also offer a number of high-end facilities including the infrastructure, custom-made car financing options, and a service and warranty packages to all its customers.
In August 2013, Diamler Chrysler India started ‘the Jatropha Biodiesel Project’ in association with Central Salt, the University of Hohenheim and the Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) as joint ventures. This project was sponsored by the Deutsche Investitions Entwicklungesellschaft (DEG). Since its inception, the Jatropha Bio-diesel has been attracting support and interest towards Bio-diesel and alternate energy. The project also experimented with Mercedes-Benz cars in field. These vehicles were powered only by Bio-diesel fuel and travelled across 9 states of India. Along with it, the Bio-diesel vehicles were put out over a chilling high altitude in KhardungLa, the highest motorable road.
The German luxury carmaker is yet to launch electric or hybrid cars in the country. With the arrival of BMW 7 Series hybrid and i8 plug-in hybrid, it is expected that Mercedes, too, will introduce cars with alternate fuel options.
Founder & First Car
Mercedes-Benz’s story begins with Karl Benz, the man who created world’s first car propelled by an engine - the Benz Patent Motorwagon. The vehicle was sponsored by Bertha Benz and it was patented in the beginning of year 1886. Later in same year, Mr. Gottlieb Daimler along with an engineer Mr. Wilhelm Maybach's turned a stage coach in a car by adding a petrol mill to it. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft promoted their first Mercedes vehicle in year 1901. The first models to be produced under this badge were manufactured under the partnership of Gottlieb Daimler's and Karl Benz's companies which was known as Daimler-Benz company in year 1926.
Mercedes-Benz vehicles in India are mainly admired for offering world-class drivability and comfort to its passengers. It has a dedicated research and development team that has helped in high level evolution of its vehicles in terms of strength, performance, as well as technology. Previously, its models were only meant forhigh level corporate professionals and executives. However, as the time proceeded it developed vehicles for younger generation. Many of its new models like CLA, B-Class, and A-Class are now included in that list. These are also categorized as highly fuel efficient Mercedes cars that offer elite luxury with power and performance. The German car maker has, however, managed to keep costs low with local assembling which has also worked in benefit of its buyers. The maintenance costs of these vehicles have also gone low with localization. Mercedes has also worked diligently over its dealership network and has made a point to reach out to maximum buyers.
Mercedes-Benz is counted among the oldest players in India’s luxury car segment. If we talk about the used luxury car space, the C-Class - one of the most fuel efficient Mercedes-Benz cars in India - is among the most popular vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz has been holding tight on to the position of second biggest luxury car maker in the India’s premium car market. At present, the segment is being led by Audi India, the gap between the first and second position, however, is minimal. The German car maker is currently facing tough fight from BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, and Volvo.