Mercedes planning to launch entry-level SUV in India

New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Taking note of India’s rising obsession with SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles), Mercedes-Benz Tuesday hinted at launching a new entry-level SUV to compete with the likes of BMW X1, Audi Q3 and the soon-to-be-launched Volvo V40 Cross Country.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of ‘Silver Arrows’, Noida’s first Mercedes-Benz dealership, Eberhard H. Kern, managing director and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz India, said the recently unveiled GLA (entry-level SUV) concept could make it to India.

“The GLA concept which was revealed at the Shanghai auto show recently can come to India to compete in this (entry-level) segment,” Kern told IANS, adding that it could be priced at around Rs.25 lakh.

The BMW X1 was launched at the fag end of 2010 and opened up the entry level or baby SUV segment in India. It enjoyed the first mover’s advantage until Audi launched the Q3 in mid-2012. However, both the soft roaders, priced between Rs.27-Rs.33 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) are registering healthy sales.

Speaking about the soon to be launched premium hatchback, the A Class, Kern said the target customers for the premium car was young professionals and women.

“The youth as well as the women in India today are independent and are making decisions on their own. The A Class will surely satisfy their needs,” said Kern.

The German automobile company is anticipating healthy sales of the A Class as it hopes to crack a new segment in the market.

Speaking about the new dealership, Kern said: “Delhi NCR is one of the fastest growing automobile markets and the demand for our cars here is very encouraging.”

‘Silver Arrows’ is spread over an area of 42,000 sq. ft. and would offer sales and after-sales services under one roof.

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