Mercedes-Benz India completely underestimated demand for the launch edition of the Mercedes S-class, the fully loaded S500, which retails for a whopping Rs. 1.58 crore (ex-showroom Delhi). The steep price did not deter buyers who lapped up the initial lot of 125 cars imported from Germany. The company believes it could easily picked up over 300 orders for the Launch Edition of the S-class.
This overwhelming demand has prompted the carmaker to locally assemble the S500 at its plant in Chakan instead of importing it as Completely Built Up (CBU) unit as per the original plan. In fact, the initial plan was to locally assemble just the S350 diesel and sell the S500 only as a CBU. However, the volumes for the S500, which were much higher than anticipated, has now made local assembly viable.
Though Mercedes will produce the S500 locally it will continue to offer it as a CBU as well. The difference in two will be in price and specifications. Whilst the imported S500 will come with the highest trim level, the locally assembled model will be a spec lower with a rear bench seat instead of the business class like chairs of the Launch Edition. The locally assembled S500 is expected to be slightly cheaper too but not by a big margin.
The S350 diesel has been delayed by a few weeks and will go on sale in June this year and will be the base variant in the S-class range.
Interestingly, from the first lot of 125 S500s sold, 123 were in white and the balance two in black, these were the only two colours the launch edition S-class came with.