Mercedes Benz has gone vocal with their opposition of higher excise duty on diesel cars in the immediate Budget. The German premium and luxury car maker views such a move as counter-productive to auto industry growth. Debashis Mitra, Mercedes-Benz India Director (Sales and Marketing) had this to say. “Such a move is uncalled for as diesel consumption by the auto segment is very small.” “The government’s reported plan to levy higher duty on diesel cars will force the company to make amends in its production plans and increase the cost of production. ”
The Petroleum Ministry has spoken to the Finance Ministry about imposing higher duty on diesel car purchases. While the Petroleum Ministry supports an excise duty hike on diesel cars, the Heavy Industries Ministry opposes such a change.
On other fronts, Mercedes Benz launched their first ‘Trendz’ concept stores at UB City, Bangalore. This initiative will help the German luxury auto brand showcase their latest offerings in up-market malls pan India.
Mercedes Benz has also unveiled their ‘DTM’ racing car and applications for the ‘Performance Driving Academy’ at Buddh International Circuit in association with Jaypee Sports international are being entertained. This week, Mercedes Benz India launched the GL-Class ‘Grand Edition’ adding to growing vehicle portfolio in the Indian luxury car market. The GL Grand Edition Executive bears a price tag of Rs. 60, 99,000 and the GL Grand Edition Luxury comes at a price of Rs. 65, 50,000 (ex-showroom). In 2011, Mercedes Benz sold 7,430 cars in the Indian auto market. This equates to a 30% growth rate on a 2010 YOY comparison strengthening the focus that MB will record double-digit sales growth this year too.