Mercedes Benz has recently slid down one level in the ranking of luxury car makers in India and has consequently lost some market share. In an attempt to regain the lost market share and drive on the path of growth Mercedes Benz India is planning on dodging the extortionate import duty and pricing its products competitively by assembling 8 to 9 of its models here over next few years. n the words of MD and CEO of Mercedes India, Mr. Peter Honegg, in the next three years the company is going to set different rules for the game with the help of its CKD (completely knocked down) lines.
At present the Mercedes C-class, E-class and S-class are already being assembled at the company’s facility in Chakan near Pune. The decision of assembling cars in India was guided from the fact that the cars imported from outside attract a duty of 110 percent whereas only 30 percent of import duty is levied on the cars assembled in India. The range of models anticipated to be assembled in India includes the Mercedes GL Class, B class, A class and GLC class. This car maker from Germany is also planning on an investment of Rs. 350 crore for the establishment of assembly line and a paint shop.
In the year 2011, the number one player of the luxury car segment was BMW with a sale of more than 9,400 units, at the second position was the Mercedes Benz with sales of 7,430 units and on the third position was Audi with sales of 5,511 units. Mr. Honegg stated that in India the company has lost its second position to Audi but it is still targeting at a profitable growth in the country. The most recent activity happened in the house of Mercedes Benz India was the third generation Mercedes ML 350 launch at a base price of Rs. 56.90 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Mr. Honegg revealed that the company has already received over 100 bookings of ML Class and it hopes to sell 500 units of the same in India this year.