Mercedes Benz India looks to SUV segment for a quarter of sales
SUV’s are in demand in the passenger, as well as luxury segment. The German automaker launched its new GLA Class compact SUV here on September 30, 2014. In addition to a strong sedan lineup which includes C, E and S Class saloons, Mercedes-Benz is keen to enhance its SUV portfolio in India.
Luxury SUV sales in India account for less than 10k units a year, and Mercedes enjoys a little below 15% share in the segment. Mercedes-Benz India range of SUVs comprise of ML Class and GL Class at a price between Rs 55-70 lakhs while top of the line AMG variants such as the AMG variants retails at Rs 1.5 crore and above (ex showroom prices).
As Mercedes-Benz expects demand for SUVs to grow, new models are being announced. Mercedes Benz GLA compact crossover will has now been made available at a price of Rs 32.75 lakh onward across its Style and Sport variants. It takes on Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Volvo V40 Cross Country.
SUVs in India have long been preferred for their elevated ground clearance, on board comforts, and performance on varied road condition. Mercedes Benz share of SUVs to total sales has seen a marked improvement. In the period January to June 2014 (H1), SUV segment increased 84%, contributing to 25% of overall volumes as against 17% in the first six months of 2013.
Mercedes Benz has announced doubling vehicle assembly capacities at their plant in Chakan, Pune with local assembly of CLA being planned. New models, network expansion, and strengthening of company’s SUV portfolio have been key areas in it’s ‘Year of Excellence’ plans. Last weekend, the luxury automaker inaugurated its newest dealership, Rajasree Motors in Kochi.