Mercedes Benz India, the domestic arm of well known German auto maker, is planning to introduce new models in the Indian auto market across different segments. Reportedly, new launches will help the auto maker in consolidating its position in the Indian auto sector, which would ultimately facilitate Mercedes-Benz India to fuel growth. The company is looking forward to accelerate its sales in the ongoing year after reporting stagnancy in the figures of 2012.
At the sidelines of inauguration of a cutting edge sales, service and spare parts showroom at Vadodara in Gujarat, the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Mercedes Benz India, Eberhard Kern was quoted as saying, “We expect to grow in double digits in 2013.” Reportedly, the Benchmark Group has opened the gates of its third outlet in Gujarat, after marking presence in Ahmedabad and Surat. The group is also planning to mark footprint in Rajkot during mid 2013.
Currently, the auto maker offer its vehicles across a number of categories like B class, C, E, M, GL, R and S, which ranges from Rs. 25 lakh to over Rs 1 crore. Further the company is planning to introduce new hatchback like A-Class, B-Class luxury sports Tourer and a new Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) placed in GL-Class in a few couple of months. Sources revealed that the new hatchbacks of the auto maker will target the premium class of buyers. However, price of the upcoming hatchbacks are expected to be lesser than the current generation models, which will facilitate the Mercedes-Benz India in luring a large number of buyers towards its showrooms.
Kern further said, “At present big cities like Mumbai and Delhi contribute 45% of our sales in India. The demand is also coming from smaller cities. So we want be close to our customers.” Reportedly, the Chairman of Benchmark Cars, Sanjay Thakkar said that the senior officials of several multinationals are looking ahead to own a model of Mercedes-Benz. “Even now Mercedes buyers are predominantly from real estate or indirectly connected to real estate. But now senior employees and owners of smaller firms are also buying our cars,” he added later. Benchmark Cars has showrooms in some of the major cities of the country like Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore, Kolkata and Vadodara.
Industry experts are of a view that the of late increase in excise duty on SUVs and Completely Build Units (CBUs) in the Union Budget will surely impact hard on the demand for sales of luxury cars. Confirming this statement, Kern said, “We have partly absorbed the hike, but we have to pass on a part on the consumers. It can affect the sales.”