German luxury carmaker Mercedes Benz on Thursday launched its new entry-level compact sedan CLA Class in India at Rs 31.5-35.90 lakh for the two diesel variants and Rs 35 lakh for the petrol variant (ex-showroom Delhi).
CLA replaces the C Class as the firm’s most affordable sedan in the country and is expected to help the company garner additional volumes to upstage compatriot Audi this year.
The Stuttgart-based firm ended 2014 with a 13% growth in sales at 10,201 units, but Audi stayed ahead at 10,851 units despite growing at a slower clip.
Around 20% of Mercedes’ sales last year were accounted by its new generation cars like A, B Class hatchbacks and GLA class SUV. The company expects this to go up to over 50% with the CLA Class.
“We will launch 15 new cars this year but CLA is one of the most important from a volume perspective,” said Eberhard Kern, MD and CEO, Mercedes Benz India.
“We had two very good years in 2013 and 2014 when we grew the fastest and in double digits. We are looking at another strong double-digit growth this year as well. The CLA will have a significant role to play in it,” Kern added.
The compact sedan competes with the likes of Audi A3 that was launched last year. At Rs 24.6-32.9 lakh for the four diesel variants and Rs 30.3 lakh for the petrol version, A3 is significantly cheaper than the CLA but Mercedes is banking on better styling and more features to lure buyers.