Looking to shrug off perceptions as the choice of luxury for an older generation, Gernan carmaker Mercedes Benz India on Tuesday launched its top of the line Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) GL 500 and roadster SL 350. The cars are priced at Rs 80.9 lakh and Rs 98.5 lakh respectively (ex showroom Delhi), are unlikely to shore up numbers forthe carmaker but may help it rebuild its image in one of the fastest growing automobile markets in the world.
"The perception of Mercedes as not so modern is completelyincorrect," said Peter T Honegg, managing director and CEO, Mercedes Benz India. "We are leading not only in safety, security and luxury but also in styling and design and these cars are testimony to that."
India has a very small market for super cars, traditionally defined as the cars which costs over Rs 1 crore on road. But that did not deter the Stutgart based auto firm to launch these cars and promise to bring in more.
Earlier this year, the firm re-introduced the Maybach in the country while supercars made up for quite a few of the over dozen cars it launched in India last year.
"The amount of high end luxury cars is very small in India compared to other markets which gives us hope that it will keep growing for quite a few years," he said. "While the industry as a whole has grown by around 15% every year, luxury cars have grown at a faster pace, sometimes at double the rate. We will keep bringing in new cars and expanding our portfolio not only up but also down."