DaimlerChrysler India's MD and CEO Wilfried Aulbur said on Friiday that the company sees India as the "next China" and was looking at the option of entering the market for commercial vehicles and buses.
“We clearly see India as an important part of our Asian strategy,” Aulbur told reporters in Gurgaon after launching a car.
Emboldened by an increasing demand for its prestigeous Mercedes cars in India, DaimlerChrysler is weighing the option of setting up a second plant.
The company at present has a manufacturing facility in Pune and makes C, E and S Class vehicles. “We sold 1,915 cars in 2005 and hope to surpass this by a significant margin,” Aulbur said.
The sales in 2005 included 829 units of the ‘C Class’, 825 units of the ‘E Class’, 140 units of the top-end ‘S Class’ vehicles, while the rest were CBU (completely built unit) models.
Aulbur said there has been no decision yet on introducing Chrysler products in India.. On the company’s plans to enter other segments of the market, Aulbur said, “We are looking at various options.” He, however, declined to provide details.
The company also launched its new generation Mercedes Benz ‘E Class’ and a special edition ‘E350’. The car will be imported as a completely built unit for the Indian customers and will carry a price tag of Rs 65 lakh.
“We have been able to present our Indian customers with the new generation E-Class within 5 months of its global introduction in June 2006. This is in line with our commitment to offer our Indian customers the very best products and technologies from the Mercedes Benz stable, in the least possible time,” Aulbur added.
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