Mercedes Aims at Smaller Indian Cities to Surpass BMW and Audi image

In August, Mercedes-Benz will start manufacturing its new GL Class SUV at the Pune plant, India, its fifth model to be built in this country.

Mercedes plans to add other models in the following five years, targeting smaller towns and cities to boost sales and surpass rivals BMW and Audi.

“We have aggressive plans for the Indian market in 2013 which is also our year of offensive. We have the strategy to push our volume models in the Indian market and have seen some instant success with our compact luxury models like the A Class and B Class,” Mercedes Benz India MD & CEO Eberhard Kern said.

The German automaker has doubled the Indian annual production reaching 20,000 units in Pune, in an attempt to catch up with BMW and Audi, the current leaders of the Indian luxury auto market. Mercedes currently imports the A Class and B Class vehicles from Germany, but plans to assembly them in India, with the possibility to source components and parts in the region beginning with 2014.

Mercedes expects India to reach its Top 10 global markets in the following years and the automaker has already begun to expand its dealership network to cities such as Tisawadi, Porvorim, Dhanbad, Jalandhar, Vadodra and Karnal, in an attempt to increase sales in smaller cities.