The rivalry between the big three German automobile manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz has always been intense. In India, Mercedes is the first to have set up operations with Audi following suit and then BMW entered. Over the past few years Mercedes cars have lost their appeal and slowly BMW and Audi pushed it down. The top brass at Mercedes is working on bringing the brand back to the top and the order of the day is compact cars.
Mercedes tasted success with the introduction of its compact cars, the A-Class and B-Class. A year since both these cars were introduced Merc has sold more than 2,500 units, reported as 20 per cent of the overall sales. The company didn't give out too many details sighting competitive reasons, but more than half of these cars made it to first time luxury car buyers.
This year has been referred to as the 'Year of Excellence' according to Mercedes. The launches in this year include the luxury sedan the S-Class, GL63 AMG, ML63 AMG, A-Class and B-Class special editions. The minorly tweaked A-Class and B-Class are now worked on to according to the requirements of India. However, the big launch will be the GLA-CLass compact crossover and the CLA 45 AMG to be launched later this year.
Statistics suggest that one in every five Mercedes car is a compact car. This is testimony enough for the manufacturers to dedicate their focus on. Audi is readying its A3 sedan to be launched soon in the market. BMW's most successful compact vehicle is the X1 sedan, however they have recently launched the 2 Series Active Tourer in the global market which can be introduced in India.
The purchasing power of Indian car buyers is going up and our car culture is slowly picking up too. While most trade experts would have loathed the introduction of luxury compact vehicles we feel the time is ripe for products like these.