Mercedes-Benz India, a domestic subsidiary of the German luxury automotive marque, is just two days away from the launch of its A-Class range in the country. The new A-Class is a premium hatchback and would hit Mercedes-Benz's nationwide dealerships on May 30, 2013. The domestic audience is eagerly waiting for the launch of A-Class, which is expected to become the cheapest 'Three Pointed Star' model available in the Indian auto market.
With its stellar looks and impressive performance, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is expected to instantly capture the hearts of young Indian car enthusiasts. The company's youth oriented marketing campaigns like the 'A-Class Pulsate' contest in association with MTV, offered domestic buyers a chance to win the stunning car. The German auto maker marketed its A-Class Pulsate campaign across all major social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, so as to strike a connection with the young Indian audience. Mercedes-Benz is well aware of the fact that for changing its image as a more accessible luxury brand in the country, it must strike the right chords with its customer base.
On the A-Class, Eberhard Kern, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mercedes-Benz India said, “The A-Class reflects the changing global trends of adapting to “Compact” luxury as witnessed in consumer goods categories like phones and electronics. We are confident that the consumers in India also are evolved and have similar outlook like their global peers and they would surely like the ‘New Mercedes-Benz design language’ as personified by the A-Class. The response to our digital campaign for the A-Class is extremely encouraging and only reinforces our belief.”
The new A-Class would create a segment of its own in the Indian luxury vehicle space, and is expected to carry introductory price tags around Rs. 22 to 24 lakh. This could mean that the luxury hatchback would compete against premium saloons, such as Honda Accord, Volkswagen Passat and Nissan Teana, in terms of price points. Therefore, the German auto maker would need to justify Indian buyers the value of its luxury hatchback, at which they can buy a premium sedan. It is going to be interesting to see how the Mercedes-Benz A-Class fares in the country.
Expressing his views on the upcoming Merc, Deepesh Rathore, Head of IHS Automotive, was quoted as saying, “It is quite a gamble for anyone bringing in a luxury hatch in the Indian market. Because traditionally a luxury hatch has never sold in India in numbers. The dilemma is that a CKD assembly may not make sense because of low volumes. But because there will be no CKD then its price will be high compared to products from competitors. So it is a chicken and egg situation.”