Mercedes Benz India’s CLA sedan to take on Audi A3 in 6 months

With barely a couple of weeks to go before the Audi A3 sedan hits the Indian luxury car market, arch rival Mercedes Benz has just made a big ticket announcement on the sidelines of the CLA45 AMG’s media drive. The German luxury car giant has revealed that it is fast tracking the CLA sedan’s arrival into India, and that the petrol and diesel variants of the car will be in India within the next six months.

This announcement assumes significance, especially at a time when Audi and Mercedes Benz are engaged in pitched battles for market share in India. Audi ruled the hustings in 2013, and is likely to maintain its lead this year, on the back of the big volume A3 sedan’s launch. Mercedes Benz is expected to give Audi a run for the latter’s monies given the fact that two big volume products, the GLA crossover and the CLA sedan are due for launches in the next 6 months.

Notably, the GLA crossover – a rival to the likes of the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 – will be launched in India during this festive season. Luxury crossovers are big in India, as the road conditions here favour cars with higher ground clearance. Based on the MFA platf0rm, the GLA crossover’s prices are expected to start from the sub-30 lakh rupee mark. Mercedes Benz will eventually assemble this crossover through the CKD kit route at its Chakan assembly unit.

Coming to the CLA sedan, the car is a rival to the Audi A3, and will sit below the Mercedes Benz C-Class sedan, whose 2015 model will hit Indian shores early next year. The CLA sedan is also based on the MFA platform, and will be the fifth MFA based car – after the likes of the B-Class, A-Class, CLA45 AMG and GLA Crossover, to hit Indian roads. The MFA platform was developed to host affordable luxury cars, a major pivot of future growth for Mercedes Benz.

The CLA sedan sold in India will be available with two engine options, 1.6 liter-4 cylinder turbo petrol and 2.2 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel motors. Both engines will power the front wheels of the car by means of a 7 speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. Earlier today, Mercedes Benz India launched the CLA45 AMG high performance sedan. Click here to read more.