Mercedes is shifting gear to reclaim its market share in India. After recently being overtaken by BMW and Audi in sales, Mercedes is pulling out all the stops to bring in vehicles that will likely sell in higher volumes in the Indian market.
We’ve already heard of the Mercedes B-Class that will be launched in November this year. Read more on the B-Class here. Then there’s the brand new A-Class which is likely to be launched early next year. This 2013 A-Class is a car that will bring in the volumes for Mercedes if it hits a price point of Rs. 15 lakh. It will also bring in a new class of vehicles to the Indian market – that of a large luxury hatch. Also read: Merc A Class photos leaked
However, at the recent launch of the Mercedes M-Class, Peter Honegg, CEO and MD, Mercedes Benz India, said Mercedes is also planning on bringing in a compact SUV on the A-Class platform. So far the vehicle is still in the concept stage.
Honegg did not elaborate on the SUV based on the A-Class, but said it’s definitely the kind of vehicle that the Indian market needs. Looking at the new A-Class pictures, it looks like an SUV built on the same platform will fill the need for a compact premium SUV – a space that the BMW X1 currently is doing pretty well in. The Audi Q3 will also soon get into this space and so Mercedes too isn’t looking to be left out from this promising market segment.
If the A-Class SUV makes it to production, it will be priced at about Rs. 25 lakh, and will compete with the BMW X1. Mercedes has enough engine choices to power the SUV – all of which are likely to come from the A-Class that will be launched next year.
The A-Class is expected to come with a host of engine options which includes five petrol engines and five diesel engines. Among the petrol engines, expect the A-Class to be made available in a 1.8-litre 120 bhp motor, 2-litre 154 bhp motor, 2-litre 170 bhp motor, 2.5-litre 209 bhp motor and a 2.5-litre 348 bhp motor. Among the diesel engines, expect the A-Class to be powered by a 1.6-litre 89 bhp engine, a 1.8-litre 107 bhp engine, a 2-litre 134 bhp engine, a 2.2-litre 168 bhp engine and a 2.5-litre 203 bhp engine.
The A-Class based compact SUV looks like it has a lot of potential for India. But till it’s fully developed, it’s going to be a bit of a wait.
Photo credit: Joostloos (external link)