Mercedes-Benz had quite an extensive entry-level portfolio in India previously, comprising four models: A-Class hatchback, B-Class MPV, CLA coupe and GLA SUV. The company has changed its strategy now, though.
In an exclusive interaction with IndianAutosBlog.com, Santosh Iyer, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Mercedes-Benz (India), has disclosed the new strategy for its entry-level models. The company will launch the first-ever A-Class Limousine (A-Class Sedan) in India in June, followed by the Mk2 GLA in the second half of the year.
Mercedes-Benz did use to sell the previous generation A-Class (hatchback), B-Class and CLA in India. So, naturally, we have been curious about the launch of their new generation models.
During our interaction with Iyer, we asked if the Mk2 Mercedes CLA Coupe will be launched in India. “No, the new CLA will not be introduced in India,” he said. Following the Mercedes A-Class Limousine’s debut in 2019, this was expected to happen, though. However, we were still hopeful for the latest Mercedes A-Class and Mercedes B-Class.
When asked about the possibility of launching the Mk4 Mercedes A-Class hatchback in India, below is what Iyer told us:
As I said, you know the customers loved the (previous generation) car, just that you know (in) India we have families also, friends and others. So, for them, space is important. And they said that if we can offer a sporty car, a stylish car, with all the next generation telematics but in a limousine format they are more than happy. And that’s the reason of our strategic shift to A-Class Limousine rather than getting a successor to the hatch or anything else.
Obviously, our next query was about introducing the Mk3 Mercedes B-Class MPV in our market. “We have (a) market for every product, but you know we cannot localise even the A (hatchback) and the B-Class is also a CBU,” Iyer said. “Many states in India have high registration taxes for CBU, so we can, in fact, get a CBU but it’s much more expensive for the customer,” he added.
Regular readers would already know that the first-ever Mercedes GLB has also been ruled out for India. The three-pointed star wants to sell only those entry-level models in our market that can be localised. “Our focus is clearly what can we localise,” Iyer said.