Mercedes-Benz has had its presence in India since the time of the Maharajas and has market penetration like no other German luxury brand in India. After the three-pointed star started selling officially in India since 1994 with the W124s, Mercedes Benz recently rolled out their 50000th car, which is a huge number considering the low volumes of the luxury car market.
Mercedes has launched three cars in the last three months – the SLK55 AMG, the S500 and the C-Class Grand Edition. Betting big on the Indian market, the German manufacturer is bringing the CLA45 AMG to India during the Auto Expo 2014. In spite of housing a puny 2.0-litre petrol turbocharged engine, the CLA45 AMG is no laggard. It develops 360bhp power and 450Nm torque propelling it to a 0-100 kmph in a time of 4.6 seconds into the super-car territory. The entry-level luxury car market is getting hotter with the luxury hatches and with Audi entering the foray with the A3 sedan, we feel the CLA will hit the Indian shores soon, positioned between the B-Class and the C-Class.
Mercedes is also going to showcase the GLA-concept car at the Auto Expo this year owing to the growing market for crossovers and soft-roaders in the country. The growing success of the X1 and the Audi Q3, despite their price tags, should be compelling Mercedes-Benz to consider the option of getting the GLA to India once the expansion at the current Chakan facility is completed.
The M-guard, reinforced bullet-proof SUV based on the ML-Class, will be offered for elite customers like politicians and business tycoons. The car will be imported as a CBU with integrated protective components meeting all the requirements of Resistance Level VR4, which covers handguns up to the .44 Magnum. Mercedes may also offer the ML500 later this year owing to the runaway success of the S500.
The year 2014 is going to be the ‘year of excellence’ according to Mercedes and with such cars lined up we are sure to have some more revelations at the Auto Expo 2014. Log on to our website during the Auto Expo as we bring to you live coverage of the action as it unfolds.