Mercedes-Benz against imposition of heavy excise duty on diesel cars

Friday 03 February 2012, 11:57 AM by Vikas Yogi

Mercedes-Benz, the German automobile manufacturer, has raised voice against heavy excise duty imposed by Government of India on the diesel models. According to the German luxury car manufacturer, this step would restrict the growth of the Indian automobile industry.

Debashis Mitra, Director (Sales and Marketing), Mercedes-Benz India, commented, "Such a move is uncalled for as diesel consumption by the auto segment is very small. The government's reported plan to levy higher duty on diesel cars will force the company to make amends in its production plans and increase the cost of production."

As per the recent reports, the Petroleum Ministry had a meeting with the Finance Ministry to initiate the higher excise duty on diesel cars. While Finance Ministry is in favour of high excise duty, the Heavy Industries Ministry has strictly opposed this move.

Amidst this chaos, the German automaker has showcased its ‘DTM’ racing car and launched its first ‘Trendz’ concept in Bangalore. This move was initiated by the company to bring in its latest offering to the Indian automobile market. Mercedes-Benz has also opened bookings for its Performance Driving Academy that the company established in collaboration with the Jaypee Sports International Limited at the Buddh International Circuit.

Earlier this week, the company launched its luxury SUV, the GL-Class ‘Grand Edition’. This new product would be available in two variants, namely Executive and Luxury. The GL Grand Edition Executive model will cost Rs. 60.99 lacs and the Luxury would come at a price tag of Rs. 65.50 lacs (ex-showroom).

The year 2011 proved to be profitable for the German luxury car maker as it sold 7,430 units in the Indian market. This marks 30 per cent growth in 2011 over 2010 on year-over-year basis. Though heavy excise duty is not favoured by Mercedes-Benz; the company is focusing on repeating its success in 2012 as well.

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