DaimlerChrysler is looking at more launches in the country including the smaller A-class and M-class multi-utility vehicles (MUVs).
Mercedes Benz India Ltd (MBIL) an 86% subsidiary of Daimler-Chrysler currently has a presence in the premium end of the passenger car segment through its E class models.
So far MBIL has not fared too well in the country mainly due to the fact that it operates purely in the premium passenger car segment which has witnessed negative growth. As the company realised earlier on, there is a miniscule market in India for a premium car upwards of Rs 2.2 m. In the calendar year 1999, the company sold 1,000 cars, a big consolation being the Rs 26 m maiden net profit it posted during the year.
Given the kind of competition in the Indian passenger car market, MBIL has felt the need to expand its range to include other models (A-class, M-class). The company is mulling plans to correct that situation. It is conducting a study to include newer models in the country. But these plans make take a backseat as the company wants to sort out the pricing factor first. For the time being the company wants to focus on the E-class models.
With only one car in its stable, MBIL is unlikely to make much headway in the Indian auto scene. This is more so, when its competitors are rolling out models by the month. The recent Auto Expo witnessed a slew of models from auto majors from General Motors to TELCO in just about every category. The second reason why MBIL may struggle to survive in the Indian market is due to the price, which is steep by any standards.
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