Merc eyes No. 1 slot by 2015-16

Luxury car maker Mercedes Benz, which fell to the third position in the luxury car market and is already battling a decline in sales, hopes to bounce back and reclaim its number 1 slot by 2015-16.

Mecedes Benz lost its top position to BMW in 2010 and slipped to third when Audi overtook it early this year.

The company plans five launches including compact models A Class, B Class (diesel), crossover GL, new E Class and new S Class in India in 2013.

The company will being to India most of the 13 new product lines launched globally by 2015, said Matthias Luhrs, global vice-president, sales, Mercedes Benz.

The luxury car maker aims at least a 7-fold jump in sales at 50,000 units  a year by 2020.

The crossover GL will be assembled in India from the second half of 2013, said Eberhard H Kern, new managing director and chief executive officer, Mercedes Benz India. The company currently assembles C Class, E Class, M Class and S Class in India.

"We are looking at (assembling) the whole new generation portfolio in India," said Luhr. This means hatchback A Class, B Class and compact SUV GLK will be assembled in Pune.

The company has already invested Rs 850 crore in its Pune plant. It has also set up a new paint shop with an annual capacity of 20,000 in October.


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