Mercedes Benz India had set up a bus manufacturing facility in Chakan in Pune with an investment of Rs. 500 million. The company has tied up with MCV to integrate captive body building and will manufacture bus with Euro IV compliant engine with BlueTec diesel technology. For the company, India is one of the largest markets and is hoping to fully localise the production. Currently, the 37 seater base version of Mercedes Bus costs around Rs. 90 lakhs.
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Mercedes India to bring small A & B segment cars to grow its market. It is likely to bring A-Class, a mini multi-purpose car, is Mercedes Benz's entry-level model in most world markets, while B-Class is a small family car using the same engine and suspension system. The company has lost its leadership position for the second year to BMW. It has sold 5819 cars compared to BMW 6246 units. It plans to bring the cars in the next 3-4 years. Currently, its manufacturing plant at Chakan has a capacity to produce 10000 nos.
Mercedes-Benz India, which has a R&D centre in Bangalore. It has currently around 220 engineers working and the company plans to increase it to 500 to 1000 over the next few years. It will invest Rs.1500 million and also has plans to improve its distribution along with its partners. According to sources, globally Mercedes-Benz invest around 4-5% of its revenue in R&D
In the first two months of 2009, BMW sold more cars than Mercedes (514 vs.315) making the leadership under threat. Audi, which entered India, last year has sold 222 cars, making it the third player in the luxury car market. Both BMW and Audi have brought latest models. BMW has introduced all-new 7 series and 3-series sedan and SUV’s X6 and X3. Audi has brought R8 sports car. With Toyota Lexus, Honda Acura, Fiat’s Alfa Romeo to make entry in the next year, Mercedes has plenty to worry about