Mercedes to rev up India sales with launch of C200 petrol sedan

Thursday, Nov 27, 2014

Mercedes-Benz is aiming to repossess the top spot in India's market for luxury cars, and to take on current leader Audi, the German auto maker has lined up a number of launches.

On Tuesday, it introduced the new generation of one of its largest selling sedans, the CClass. The new C200 petrol variant, powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, is priced at 40.9 lakh before insurance and local levies in Delhi.

"This car is one of the most important models of our strategy to gain leadership in India and would help us to carry on with our double-digit growth in sales in 2014," Mercedes-Benz India managing director and CEO Eberhard Kern told reporters.

The company's sales in India increased 16% to 7,529 units in the first nine months of 2014 and it aims annual numbers to cross the 10,000 mark for the first time ever, compared with 9,003 last year. Audi, which sold 10,003 units last year, has already crossed that number with one more month left in 2014, aided by the success of its smallest sedan, the A3 that starts at Rs 23 lakh.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz will be bringing in more models. It plans to debut the CLA sedan next year with a sub-Rs 25 lakh price tag, which is expected to give a boost to sales.

"India is a very important strategic market for us. It should emerge as top 10 market for Mercedes Benz in the next few years as we aim to double our volumes by 2020," said Till Conrad, chairman of Mercedes-Benz India. "We will launch 20 new models globally without any predecessor and many of these should flow into the Indian market."

Mercedes-Benz has expanded production capacity at its Chakan plant near Pune to 20,000 units a year to meet the expected demand. It currently assembles six models in India and the new CLA sedan will be added to that.


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