Before any of the German luxury car maker even thought of coming to India, Mercedes Benz was a household name here and people swore by the name of this luxury brand. But somewhere down the line, many luxury car makers came to India, including the other two German luxury car manufacturers, Audi and BMW, and Mercedes, lost the monopoly, lacking in advance technology and new design philosophy.
But it didn't took Mercedes too long to realize the mistake and soon, they came with some brilliant changes in design for both interior and exterior. The result was a new C-class, E-class, S-class, A-class and the recently launched GLA-class cars. This helped increase Mercedes their sales volume by almost 100% over the period of few years and now, they are planning to expand their existing manufacturing facility in Chakan, Pune, from 10,000 vehicles annually to 20,000 vehicles annually.
The company is investing Rs 250 crore for the expansion and the infrastructure for the facility is almost ready. Though the company is still waiting for all the regulatory clearances from the government to complete the process. Boris Fitz, Vice President, sales and network development, Mercedes-Benz India Pvt Ltd said, "The capacity expansion is almost at the final stage. We are expecting some government clearances to be in place and the expansion to be completed early next year."
The new products launched by the company are aimed towards younger customers and the company registered a growth of 16% this year with the sales of new gen products. "We have already invested Rs 600 crore and are now investing another Rs 250 crore in expansion. This will take our total investments in India to Rs 850 crore, which shows our commitment to the country," said Fitz.
The company is also increasing its focus on used cars, but issues like sourcing a used Benz and other warranty and finance problems are proving a road blocker. The SUV business in India was also delayed by a factor that low quality fuel is used in SUVs in India, which is not usable in its products and the company had to find a way to make it compatible, which took some time. However, this helped the company to carve out a strategy to focus on the luxury segment SUV market in India with products like G-Wagon, ML and GL class.