German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz on Thursday launched the new C Class AMG Performance Edition and said it has lined up more compact premium cars as part of its aggressive growth plans for India.
"With the launch of the new C Class AMG, Mercedes-Benz aims to redefine the luxury entry level sedan segment. We are looking at expanding by launching new products and increasing network penetration," Mercedes-Benz India Director (Sales & Marketing) Debashis Mitra told reporters in Mumbai.
The C Class sedan is priced at Rs 34,62,609 ex-showroom in Mumbai.
Mercedes-Benz sold about 7,430 units last year and was the second-largest seller of high-end cars after BMW, which sold more than 9,400 cars.
Mercedes was the top-selling luxury carmaker in India until it was overtaken by German rival BMW.
During the January-April period, the company sold around 2,499 units, Mitra said.
The firm will focus on launching new products, increasing network penetration and introdicing new marketing initiative to increase market share.
"India is an important market for us, where we see potential. We are looking at launching more next generation compact premium cars as part of a strategy to regain market share," Mitra said, adding it has lined up B Class cars, which will be launched in the next quarter.
The company last week launched its third generation M-Class SUV priced between Rs 56.9 lakh and Rs 66 lakh.
On expansion of distribution network, Mitra said, "We have already set up 60 touch points across the country and are looking at expanding the dealership network in the near future."
The company has decided to set up its own high-tech paint shop. The shop is likely to be operational in the second half of 2012 and will have an annual capacity of 20,000 units, Mitra said.
The paint shop carries "substantial investment" and takes Mercedes-Benz's total investment in its Chakan plant in Pune to more than Rs 600 crore, he said.
Going forward, the company sees huge potential in self leasing as part of car financing.
The company is offering 'Star Lease', a self leasing option that allows consumers to drive a Mercedes-Benz without any initial investment.
Consumers will have to pay affordable rentals which shall cover insurance and maintenance costs for three years, Mitra said.