New M-Class SUV from Benz

Mercedes-Benz introduced its third generation M-Class sports utility vehicle (SUV), promising better fuel efficiency and superior perfor­mance.

Priced at Rs.56.90 lakh and Rs.66 lakh, the SUV comes with several new luxury and safety features such as active parking assist, airmatic air suspension, attention assist and eco start-stop. Now in its third generation, the M-Class is the most popular SUV from the stable of Ger­man luxury carmaker with over 1,500 units already sold in India.

The company plans to assemble the M-Class SUV in India along with the other models such as B-Class and the A-Class and expected this move would bring down prices of their cars. For instance, the M-Class could be cheaper by Rs.9 lakh. In the long run, if any model such as the C-Class, E-Class, A-Class or B-Class was to cross the 10,000 mark a year. The company might shift to complete manu­facturing of these vehicles, instead of assembling from com­pletely knocked down (CKD) units in India.

On the fierce competition that Mercedes-Benz is facing from rivals like BWM and Audi, Mr. Honegg said: “We would focus on profitability than chasing numbers…we would be rather selling 100 or 200 units of profitable mod­els rather than selling 1,000 of low margin models.”

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