Mercedes-Benz eyes at leadership in Indian market, plans to introduce new model under Rs. 20 lacs

Saturday 06 October 2012, 10:15 AM by

In a bid to grab the numero uno position in Indian luxury car market, Mercedes-Benz has announced that the company is planning to introduce some new models, which will eventually drive in some decent sales volumes for the auto maker. The first car on the cards of German auto maker is A-Class, which will be priced less than Rs. 20 lacs and thus will target a new class of buyers. Following this move, the company is planning to outpace its country cousin BMW in India, which is currently dominating the Indian luxury car market.

Confirming the above statement, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-Benz India, Peter Honegg said, “Yes, we are thinking in this direction.” He later added, “I will not eliminate the case that we will have a car below Rs. 20 lacs.”

The auto maker is working in zeal to range around 40 per cent of its entire Indian product portfolio under Rs. 25 lacs mark in the coming 5 to 10 years. Reportedly, Mercedes-Benz is investing a whopping amount of Rs. 250 crore, which will help it to set up a new product line up before the end of 2014.

He further said that the company is also looking ahead to develop a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), which will be based on the platform of A-Class. The company also hinted that it may source small engines for the Indian auto market from the France-based auto maker Renault with which Daimler, the parent company, has a worldwide association. However, he added that the auto maker may consider this proposal in future as no such plans are concerned as of now.

Expressing his views on the future plan, Honegg quoted, “In the next 5-10 years, 40 per cent of our new models will be below priced Rs. 25. lacs. The premium segment, which is in the range of Rs. 20 lacs to Rs. 30 lacs, is witnessing good growth in India, while the luxury segment above that is flat.”

In 2009, BMW forayed into the luxury car market of the Indian auto industry when it replaced the Mercedes-Benz from the leadership position. And by the end of 2012, the auto maker is expected to step down the third position by replacing the indigenous auto maker Audi India, which is aiming at a strong sales target of 8,000 units.

The company official believes that the auto maker will end up selling almost the same number of cars delivered in last year. In 2011, the German car maker was able to deliver 7,430 units with a growth of 27.69 per cent under the review of 5,819 units sold in corresponding period of 2010. Honegg added, “Globally our target is regain the number one position by 2020. In India, we will be fighting for number game much ahead of it. By 2015-16, we will have the entire range of products from premium to luxury in India and that is when we will look at competition again.”

Presently, the German auto maker is eyeing to fetch some decent profits from the market as it has been hit by unfavourable currency fluctuations, which has forced the company to increase the prices of its models by around 4 to 5 per cent in 2012.

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