BMW, Audi race to take on Merc | autos | Hindustan Times
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BMW, Audi race to take on Merc

autos Updated: Jul 06, 2009 00:30 IST
Sumant Banerji

The battle for the top spot in the country’s top of the line luxury car segment is getting more intense and Mercedes Benz’s near ten-year-old stranglehold in the market is under serious threat.

While BMW is the odds on favourite having already steered ahead in the first quarter of this fiscal, Audi has emerged as the dark horse in the fight.

By the end of last fiscal (2008-09) in March, Mercedes Benz India held on to its leadership position selling 3,537 cars. But the signs of a change in the pecking order were there with BMW exceeding its own target and also selling more than 3,000 cars in the year. “This market is already challenging and without doubt the competition is getting more and more intense,” said Peter Kronschnabl, president BMW India.

The three German companies are now racing against each other to expand their presence in the hinterland.

“We started operations here in 2007 and currently have 11 dealerships. Going forward new dealerships would come up in tier II cities to make our products available to a wider customer base,” said Benoit Tires, managing director, Audi India.

“Our involvement with tier II cities is growing at a fast pace and we are confident that these cities reflect the future growth pockets and offer good potential. We investing Rs 150 crore to expand to new cities as also to upgrade our existing network,” said Dr Wilfried Aulbur, MD and CEO, Mercedes Benz India.