Mercedes-Benz to counter slack sales by launching B-Class in October 2012

Tuesday 11 September 2012, 12:02 PM by

The Indian arm of Mercedes-Benz, the German automotive marque, is expecting a subdued 2012 as compared to last year when the company recorded a 35 per cent annual growth.

Evidently, the Head of Marketing, Skoda Auto suggested earlier that the company might witness a drop in vehicle sales recorded this year, as compared to the sales of 2011.

Manas Dewan, General Manager, Strategic Planning and Corporate Communications, Mercedes-Benz India, pointed out that the company is anticipating a recumbent growth in 2012, which will be a first since its foray into the Indian luxury car market in 1996. Dewan affirmed that the company is expecting similar sales figure this year as compared to the sales registered last year amounting to 7,400 units in the country.

Dewan listed couple of reasons for the company's failure to inspire the Indian car enthusiasts this year including the ever increasing fuel rates and auto finance rates. According to Dewan, the Indian auto market has been hit hard this year with fluctuating fuel prices and burgeoning vehicle loan interest rates, which has directly influenced the availability of cash in the hands of Indian buyers. He further said, “Overall, slowdown in global economy has impacted sentiments, making buyer cautious resulting in customer deferring his purchase decision.”

Dewan announced that the company being a prominent name in the luxury passenger car market will also foray into the premium car markets of the country as well. According to Dewan, Mercedes-Benz India is working on the launch of its A-Class and B-Class vehicles on the Indian turf, which will mark the company's arrival in the premium car segment in India. Mercedes Benz India current rivals in the luxury passenger vehicle segment in India are its two German counterparts, BMW and Audi.

Reportedly, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class series is expected to be launched in October 2012 and will fetch a price tag around Rs. 25 lacs. In addition to the B-Class, the company is working towards bringing the A-Class series to the Indian markets, which is slated to be launched somewhere around the third quarter of 2013 and will carry a price tag around Rs. 20 lacs. Dewan further affirmed that with the upcoming models, the company is looking to set a foothold in the country's premium car segment.

In a bid to cement faith for the brand among Indian car aficionados, Mercedes-Benz India organised a 'Star Drive Experience' for its clients in Chandigarh. The Star Drive Experience was the company's customer oriented event that gives the Mercedes-Benz owners an opportunity to experience the technological superiority and advanced features of their cars. The event was conducted in a controlled environment and the customers consummated the opportunity to experience advanced handling and manoeuvring techniques required during some critical situations.

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