After the successful year of offensive in 2013, Mercedes-Benz India has some big plans for the year of excellence in 2014. We spent a good time at the Mercedes-Benz stall at the 2014 Auto Expo admiring the impressive lineup that included new cars such as the S-Class and ML500 Guard as well as soon to be launched GLA and CLA45 AMG. Mercedes-Benz has achieved a strong position in the Indian market, thanks to their aggressive strategies and a wave of new launches that continues to happen.
Mercedes-Benz India is known for introducing new products soon after their global debut. Same will be the case with the GLA compact SUV and the CLA sedan. Both the offerings will be launched in 2014 itself. However, the CLA sedan will be launched in the performance oriented avatar, which is the CLA45 AMG that was shown at the Auto Expo. Eventually, we can see the launch of regular CLA in 2015. The CLA is in high demand, specially in the States and thus getting units for India is difficult, thus the move to bring the AMG model first. The CLA 45 AMG will be priced around Rs. 60 lakhs in India.
The Mercedes GLA will be launched in Germany this March and we can expect an India launch in the second half of 2014. The Mercedes GLA uses the same underpinnings as the A-Class and B-Class. The compact SUV will be offered with the same engine options as the A-Class – 1.6-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel, mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It will compete with the likes of the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. The Mercedes CLA45 AMG features a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine producing 360 HP of power and 450 Nm of torque, mated to a 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch automatic transmission. The GLA will be priced upwards of Rs. 27 lakhs in India.
Mercedes-Benz also plans to launch the GLK SUV in India but later in 2015 or early 2016 that will complete their entire product portfolio. The GLK will be positioned between the GLA and ML-Class. Currently the German automaker assembles S, E, C, ML and GL-Class vehicle in India. They will add more models for assembly soon. Mercedes-Benz India has also increased their production capacity to 20,000 units.