The luxury car market in India continues to grow in spite of slowing growth in the passenger car market in India. Recently, German car manufacturer, Mercedes Benz announced that they would add their compact range of cars to their product portfolio in India by 2012 end.
The company’s CEO and MD, Peter Honegg said that their cars with the left-hand drive choice would be launched for global markets later this year in Europe, while in India; it would be launched by 2012 end. He said initially they would introduce their cars with the option of left hand drive, manufactured at their plants in Hungary and Germany will be launched later in the year in Europe.
They plan to bring these cars as CKD units in India, by 2012 end or early 2013. He, however, did not reveal the car’s price, saying that right now, they do not have facility for manufacturing their compact class from their Chakan plant near Pune.
Mercedes Benz manufactures their E, S and C Class vehicles from their Chakan facility near Pune. He said they expect to sell more than 7,000 cars this year, in comparison to last year’s sales figures. Last year they managed to sell around 5,800 cars, and this year they expect to sell more than 7,000 cars. During the January to June period, they managed to sell a total of 3,800 units. He also said that the company had made an investment of INR 400 crores for expanding their Chakan plan’s paint shop that has a current capacity of 20,000 units.
He said that their with 2 shift operations their facility has a 10,000 units production capacity, which should be increased to 20,000 units next year and up to 40,000 units in the coming years.