Over 400 orders for A Class, Mercedes mulls local assembly
New Delhi: Buoyed by over 400 bookings received within 10 days of launch of the A-Class model, Mercedes-Benz India is considering local assembly of its luxury compact car.
"We have received over 400 bookings in just ten days after launch. This is a historical high for us as never in the past we had any models receiving this kind of booking," Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director & CEO Eberhard Kern said.
When asked if the company plans to assemble the new model in India, Kern said: "Currently, we are doubling our capacity at Chakan. We will add more models to be assembled there for which we will decide early next year."
Mercedes Benz India assembles the E, C, S and M Class models currently and will also start rolling out the GL Class from August this year at the Chakan plant. The facility has an annual capacity of 10,000 units, which will increase to 20,000 units next year.
The company had launched two variants of the A-Class compact car in India on May 30 at an introductory price of Rs 21.93 lakh and Rs 22.73 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai).
Globally also the A-Class has received good response and has so far clocked 90,000 bookings within months of launch in September 2012.
Kern said the waiting period for the model in India will be around three months and the company will continue to take bookings for the A-Class.
"For a booking made now in June, the delivery will be in September. We are in discussion with our headquarters to somehow meet the demand here in India," he said.
On the response to the A-Class, he said: "It is very much beyond our expectations. Somehow, the A-Class seems to be a choice of the new generation."
In order to strengthen its position in the market, Kern said Mercedes will launch the new E-Class in India on June 25.
The company has been focusing on its new generation cars (NGC), which comprises the A-Class, B-Class, CLA (sedan) and the GLA (compact SUV). It had launched the B-Class in India last year. The CLA and GLA are also expected to be hitting the Indian market in the near future.