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We are future ready: Mercedes Benz India

IANS 18 Jun 2015, 7:50:03 IST

Bengaluru: Mercedes Benz India on Wednesday said the company was "now absolutely future ready", and it will be there whenever there is demand.A top official of Mercedes Benz India on Wednesday highlighted the recent doubling of production capacity to 20,000 units at the Chakan plant.

"Now there is 20,000 units capacity available, which is the largest installed capacity of any luxury car maker in India," said Eberhard Kern, managing director and CEO of Mercedes Benz India, at a showroom inauguration here.

"It is a huge commitment from Mercedes Benz to the market in India, it underlines our commitment given to India. We do not utilise the capacity today, but we are ready and we are there whenever the demand is coming. We will be acting in very short time. So I am more than happy that this kind of a backbone is available."

The new factory gives Mercedes Benz the flexibility to produce seven different models which will increase to eight very soon, he said.

"Whatever shift in demand we see, this production set-up is able to deal with it very flexibly," Kern said on the Chakan plant which has seen an investment of more than Rs.1,000 crore.

The managing director said highly-efficient petrol and diesel engines were the call of the day for the company in India despite the huge variety of drive-trains available globally.

He said the company has rolled out different alternative drive train engines like battery-based electric engines and fuel cell electric engines in some markets but it is too early for India as it lacks infrastructure, needs government support and the change of mindset in people.

"Mercedes Benz has the product ready; it is just a question of when to launch and when our customer is ready to go for it. Right now we feel the better approach is to have highly efficient petrol and diesel engines," added Kern.

Kern did not reveal the strategy adopted by the company to increase production from 10,000 to 20,000 units but only gave some hints when questioned."We have a strategy in place for India and this strategy actually covers the whole spectrum of luxury car business."

He hinted at a focused approached on product portfolio, dealer network, financial solutions, service solutions and customer experience platform.

Kern said the pre-owned car business -- Mercedes Benz Certified -- launched in December 2014 was witnessing three-digit growth rates.He said India was on the verge of joining the top 20 global markets for the company. Mercedes Benz India has 73 showrooms in 39 Indian cities.