In an interview published on Automobilwoche, Mr. Eberhard Kern, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz India reveals certain interesting details on future products.
He says that in the medium term, an important contribution to MB India’s numbers would come from its compact model series. In general, by 2020, more than half its sales will be generated by vehicles that are still not in the portfolio. He predicts the luxury car market to grow to 4% of the total car market volume from a little over 1% currently.
[The next gen S Class the refreshed E Class range have to work flawlessly to keep Mercedes’ big car sales numbers from falling into the hands of Audi]
Kern’s remarks opens up a very interesting discussion. He asserts that this summer, a B Class that is Euro-4 diesel compliant would grace showroom floors. The A Class, in petrol and diesel variants, will launch in June. Both models will no doubt dramatically improve the company’s presence in the Indian luxury market. Kern had confirmed to IndianAutosBlog in late January that local production of the new GL-Class would begin in mid-2013, making this year an action-packed one for the Stuttgart-based outfit.
[The GL Class, debuting this year, and the CLA Class expected in 2014, are emotional designs]
In the interview, he considers localization of compact cars as “an interesting option” and as a decision that would be taken “not immediately.” Currently there appears to be no plan to produce the A Class or the B Class from MB’s Chakan plant, not even from CKD’s.
Through the Daimler-Renault-Nissan joint venture, Mercedes are rumored to be planning a micro-crossover on the future Nissan Juke platform that would be sandwiched between the renewed Smart range and the A Class. Barring this, a compact SUV christened GLA Class, in its last leg of development, is a possible game changer for the Indian subsidiary.
The German media have also reported on a GLG Class, and a Shooting Brake version of the CLA Class, variants which could be in the scheme of things for Mercedes Benz India as well. These models have to work in close connection with the new E Class and the next generation C- , S-, GLK-Class models to put the Indian luxury market in a state of siege.
[Source – Automobilwoche.de]