On track to hit 10K sales, Mercedes to expand local assembly in India

  • Manu P Toms, Hindustan Times, Bangalore
  • Updated: Nov 17, 2014 14:24 IST

Luxury car major Mercedes Benz, which looks set to cross 10,000-unit annual sales for the first time ever in India in 2014, is planning to expand its local participation. Two more models will be assembled at its Pune facility, one of them the compact luxury sedan CLA, scheduled to be launched early next year.

The other one has not yet been named, though it is likely to be one of its compact models A and B Class. “CLA will be our sixth model to be locally assembled in India. We might add an additional model,” Eberhard Kern, MD and CEO, Mercedes Benz India told Hindustan Times. Mercedes Benz is currently assembling S,C,E, ML and GL Class vehicles in India.

The German auto-maker is in the midst of doubling its local assembly capacity to 20,000. At present, the five locally-assembled vehicles account for 80% of its sales in India. “The share of locally-assembled models in our sales will further increase,” Kern said.

He said the company would post double-digit growth and add 14 dealerships this year. Mercedes sales grew 32% in 2013 to 9,002 units and this year the company is on course to clock 12-15% growth at a time when the overall passenger vehicle market is growing at a little over 2%.

The company had 10 launches and facelifts this year, including compact sedan ` 32-lakh GLA, which was rolled out a month ago.

“We believe Indian car market could double by 2020 and luxury segment share, which is 1.5% now would be 4% by then,” Kern said.

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