MERCEDES BENZ RE-CAPTURING THE INDIAN LUXURY MARKET
LUXURY CAR BATTLE
The luxury car battle in India is heating up and leading the charge are three German companies – BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The German trio are known for developing technologically superior cars which offer high end technology coupled with an involving driving experience. Exactly the things which most Indian buyers don’t really care for. What Indian do really look for though, is a good back seat and brand image. Today, the luxury car market is just 20,000 units a year, but by 2020, this figure will become almost six times at 1.5 lakh units a year. Thus it makes every sense for these reputed car makers to go aggressive in the Indian car market.
Mercedes-Benz was the first mover. It entered India way back in 1994. The Stuttgart based company has enjoyed monopoly for a long long time, enough to make it complacent. BMW entered India in 2006 and was quick to bring its entire line-up of cars. People got bored of Mercedes cars and quickly hoped onto brand BMW. The Bavarian based company was quick to launch entry level variants to lure prospective buyers. Within a few years, BMW had taken the numero uno position away from Mercedes-Benz. In 2007, Audi officially entered India and soon became the fancy of Bollywood. The Q-range of SUVs captured the market and has since dominated it. The Ingolstadt based manufacturer benefits from stunning looking vehicles, which appeal to the youth.
Earlier this year, Audi pulled off a massive surprise on everyone. The company not only overtook Mercedes-Benz for number two position, but it also came close on the heals of BMW. Audi India head Michael Perschke is confident that the company will become the number one luxury car maker in India by 2014. Audi has launched the facelifted A4, Q3, TT and S4 this year and will launch the A8 L with a 4.2-litre diesel engine on the 3rd of August. The company does have a fantastic line-up of vehicles and slowly and steadily,...