German luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz India launched the improved version of its sport utility vehicle (SUV) M-Class. The new M-Class will be available in two engine variants, 3.5-litre petrol engine and 3-litre diesel engine and priced at Rs. 53.77 lakh and Rs. 54 lakh.
Unveiling the SUVs at a press conference here, Mercedes-Benz India CEO and Managing Director Wilfried Aulbur said the new M-Class offered the highest level of luxury, comfort and on-road refinement. It comes with 7-speed automatic transmission, height adjustable air suspension and all-wheel drive system.
“Despite making significant enhancements of equipment, features and performance, we have not changed the price of the SUV,” he added.
Mr. Aulbur said the company planned to increase its employees’ strength at its research and development centre in Bangalore in the next few years. “We will have around 500-1,000 engineers working for our R&D centre in Bangalore in the next few years. We have about 200 people working in the centre. We also plan to invest Rs. 150 crore together with its partners for expanding the distribution network,” he added.
Referring to the sales target in India for the current year, Mr. Aulbur said: “Though we achieved 46 per cent growth in the passenger cars segment in 2008, we do not expect spectacular growth this year.”
Mercedes-Benz sold over 3,600 cars, 240 trucks and 15 buses in India in 2008. It is also in the process of setting up a new vehicle manufacturing unit at Chakan near Pune.