DaimlerChrysler sees demand growth for Merc models in India
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DaimlerChrysler sees demand growth for Merc models in India

Wednesday, 20 November 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: Global auto major DaimlerChrysler said Tuesday it expects the market share of the company's all luxury car models in the Indian market to grow sharply over the next few years.

The Mercedes Maybach has already generated quite a few inquiries in India within a short period of time despite being priced at a staggering 20 million.

The car modelled on the German limousine of 1920s has been described as unique and very special.

"Yes, there are already some enquiries in India. But, we are not marketing it. It is handled on a very exclusive basis", says Sanjay Sahajwala, head (sales) of Daimler Chrysler India.

The vehicle with 12 cylinders and 543 horsepower engine has doors that close electronically. It has a cooler for champagne, an entertainment system with Dolby stereo and video screens in the front headrests.

Reports say that there could be a 1,000 people worldwide who would want "something of an aura of exclusivity." One estimate put the possible U.S. market at around 400.

"Bangalore itself could have a couple of them, going by the enquiries we have received here from the time it was launched (August)," says Sharath Vijayraghavan of Sundaram Motors, the dealer for the Mercedes brand of cars.

All that the prospective buyers of Mercedes Maybach have to do is contact Daimler Chrysler India, which would then put them on to its German corporate office to handle the rest.

"We have received a fairly good response. We would be delivering about 10 to 12 cars by December end", says Sahajwala. "We expect about 100 and odd units of this model to go in India next year. Yes, they would be the Who's Who of India".

About 120 units of the Mercedes E-Class, priced at 3.45 million, would also be delivered between November 15 and December. "Next year, we target a figure of 600," said Hans-Michael Huber, managing director of Daimler Chrysler India.

Speaking on the sidelines of the road show for the E-Class vehicle, Huber said: "Our business philosophy is value driven not volume driven".

"There is more and more competition with customer expectations and demands. This is the true competition we face", he said.

According to the company officials, for all the varieties of Mercedes in India, the demand is highest in Delhi, followed closely by Mumbai. "Even in Karnataka, we have sold 105 to 110 vehicles of various types," says Sahajwala.
Source: IANS
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