Mercedes Benz India may launch an entry-level SUV based on the A-Class platform in India. The SUV could be based on the GLA concept that was recently showcased at the Shanghai Motor Show. It would compete with the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3.
Mercedes recently opened a new dealership, Silver Arrows, in Noida and spoke about some of its upcoming cars including the new GL and the Mercedes A-Class. Eberhard H Kern, managing director of Mercedes Benz India, apparently also told IANS that the GLA concept could come to India as well. This is a reiteration of what Peter Honegg, former CEO and MD of Mercedes Benz told us a year ago at the launch of the M-Class, where he said Mercedes was considering a compact SUV on the A-Class platform, but that was before the GLA was developed. Also read: Mercedes plans compact SUV on A-Class platform
The compact premium SUV space is a fast growing segment and Mercedes definitely wants a piece of the action. BMW’s X1 is quite popular in that space followed by the Audi Q3. Mercedes has the B-Class as well as the upcoming A-Class, scheduled for launch at the end of this month, but neither of these fits the need for an “SUV,” as one is a sports tourer (similar to an MPV) and the other is sporty hatchback. Also read: Mercedes Benz B-Class unveiled and driven
The Mercedes A-Class will be the most inexpensive Mercedes one can get in India, and it would probably be priced at about Rs. 20 lakh. The GLA concept SUV would probably hit the Rs. 25 lakh price point, to effectively compete with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 when it does make it to production. Parts and component sharing with the A-Class and B-Class would help Mercedes keep costs low and scale production. The GLA SUV would share engines with the A-Class, such as the 2-litre diesel that puts out 211 bhp of power and 350 Nm of torque with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. It will also feature a 1.8 litre petrol engine option as well to give it a low entry price. Also read: Mercedes A-Class launch in May 2013
Source: Economic Times