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Mercedes to script turnaround in India

autos Updated: May 15, 2012 21:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
BMW India

Having lost its crown to BMW in 2010 and on the verge of being displaced further by Audi this year, German luxury car maker Mercedes Benz on Tuesday said it will script a turnaround through a gamut of new products and retain its hold in the market.

The company hopes to emerge as the largest-selling luxury car maker by 2020.

"In this segment, the game changed when BMW came in (2007) and energised the market by bringing in new products," said Peter Honegg, managing director and CEO, Mercedes Benz India.

"The game will change again when we bring in our A and B class compact cars here. We expect that these cars along with a range of others would propel us back to the number 1 position by 2020."

Mercedes enjoyed an uncontested rein at the top of the luxury car market from the mid 90s to the middle of the last decade.

It, however, saw the market shifting to newer, fresher products from BMW and Audi that ultimately saw it lose its pole position in 2010.

With Audi bringing in its compact SUV - Q3 next month, a segment where Mercedes does not compete, it is expected to cede ground to the Inglostadt-based car maker this year.

"We do not have products that some of our competitors have, so there is no point in competing right now," said Honegg.

"By 2014, we would have our full range of products that would include compact SUVs as well. It is then that we should look at these numbers. So long, I am more concerned that we remain near the top with whatever car we sell in India."

The company on Tuesday launched its third-generation SUV M Class at Rs. 56.9 lakh (ex showroom Delhi).