German luxury carmarker Mercedes-Benz on Monday drove in its latest sports utility vehicle, GLA45 AMG, at a starting price of Rs. 69.60 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai.
This is the company’s ninth product launch of 2014 with one more yet to come, as it looks to drive annual sales past the 10,000 unit mark this year.
AMG is Mercedes-Benz’s performance brand and the company has 8 products in the AMG range on offer in India.
When asked why the company was focused on offering a wide range of vehicles in the AMG portfolio, Eberhard Kern, managing director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India said, “The high performance segment is a small, niche segment. But we have seen 150% growth in AMGs and that is why our focus on that segment and we have launched four of them this year.”
As a part of its strategy to focus on the AMG segment, Mercedes Benz launched three AMG performance centres in the country earlier this year.
The GLA 45 AMG SUV is powered by a 2-litre four cylinder engine with a maximum output of 265 kW and 450 Nm of torque, coupled with AMG 7-speed transmission and variable AMG performance all-wheel drive.
Overall, the company said that the demand for luxury cars in India remained strong this year, with several of its products like the ML class, GL class, and the S class, all running long waiting lists.
“The business is doing extremely well. Last year, we sold 9,003 units, which was our best ever. This year we will end up with another year of double digit growth and might even cross 10,000 unit sales,” Kern said. Between January and September, the company’s sales have grown 16% to 7,529 units.
This growth is also being driven by the A and B class that were launched in 2013. Since then Mercedes Benz has sold more than 3,000 units of these compact cars, according to the company.
Mercedes is expanding its network with 14 new dealerships this year to take its tally to 74. It also plans to assemble the CLA in India, adding to the five models currently assembled here.