Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Center of Excellence launch which took place at Mercedes India's Chakan plant yesterday, Matthias Lührs, Chairman of the Board of Management, Mercedes-Benz India and Vice-President-Global Sales, Mercedes-Benz, said that the company will launch one of the new generation compact cars (NGCC) in India next year.
Lührs did not specify the NGCC the company would launch, and among the four products available globally, Mercedes India already has two in its portfolio - the A and B Class.
The upcoming model for India could be the compact, four-door coupe, the CLA Class, or the recently unveiled soft-roader, the GLA Class.
There is a very good reason why Mercedes cannot launch both cars in India next year. Global demand for these NGCC cars is far outpacing supply, even though production at Rastatt, Germany (which makes the A, B and GLA Class) and Kecskemét, Hungary (which makes the A, B and CLA Class) is running at full steam.
In fact, earlier this year, Mercedes India had to request its headquarters to allocate more cars, as demand for the A Class exceeded supply.
While the company can only launch one NGCC next year, Mercedes says that it will complete its product portfolio in India by 2016.
Though the A and B Class are imported into India currently, Mercedes is keen to start local assembly of these cars soon. This year, the company has invested INR 250 crore to double its annual capacity from 10,000 to 20,000 units.
Which NGCC would you want Mercedes to launch in India next year, the CLA or GLA?