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    Thread: MBIL planning to bring B-class hatchback to India??

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      MBIL planning to bring B-class hatchback to India??

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      Mercedes-Benz is really getting aggressive with its strategies as it fights to regain control of the luxury segment in India. A part of this strategy is to introduce an new premium hatchback segment in India. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is the car that the company hopes, will be able to attract the attention of car buyers to the brand. Also, the new hatchback would be considerably cheaper than the most inexpensive offering currently on their portfolio, the C-Class.

      Thus, Mercedes-Benz might be looking for volumes from the new segment which will in turn help the brand to take on the fight to rival brands like BMW and Audi. BMW has been leading the segment for quite some time now and Mercedes-Benz will be looking forward to end their winning streak. The new model of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class will be launched at the Frankfurt motor show later this month. The details of the car though, have already been released by the company.

      The B-Class is a five-door hatchback with styling that is based on the A-Class concept that was showcased at the Geneva auto show early this year. It is more of a smallish R-Class but, at the end of the day, it is a hatchback. The B-Class could be priced upwards of Rs 15 lakh when it comes to India. Of course, the decision makers at Mercedes-Benz would have done ample market research before coming to a final decision on the model to be introduced.

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      Also, Mercedes-Benz is planning to locally assemble the cars to avoid the high import duties which could make the final price of the car uncompetitive compared to its rival products. The BMW X1 is the least expensive luxury car available in India and has been the best seller in this segment. Surely, there is a huge potential in the lower end of the luxury segment as demonstrated by the success of the BMW X1. But, we have seen in the past, that products like the VW Beetle and Fiat 500 have failed to generate interest even with their iconic status.

      So, is the Indian market ready for a premium hatchback that is priced in the range of Rs 17-22 lakh? Mercedes-Benz India is optimistic about the new segment and might even launch the new B-Class earlier than expected. There are reports that the automaker might launch the B-Class in June 2012 rather than in 2013-14. BMW has not yet confirmed their plans to take on the B-Class. BMW officials have however, hinted in the past that BMW might launch either the 1-Series or Mini.

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      Audi too is planning a premium sedan that will be placed below the Audi A4. The A3 sedan concept was earlier showcased and will be coming to India. Mercedes-Benz also plans to introduce a rival to the BMW X1. The Mercedes-Benz GLK will take on the BMW X1 which has had a free-run frankly, with no actual product to compete with it. Customers will soon get an option in the entry-level premium SUV segment with Mercedes’ contender in the arena.

      Audi is well on track with its Audi Q3 plans as well. The Audi Q3 will again rival the Mercedes-Benz GLK and the BMW X1. The BMW X1′s unimpeded run might soon come to an end with competitive products being launched by its rivals. Now, is time which will decide the heroes and the zeroes among the German triad. At the end of the day, product marketing, customer service and customer perception about the product among other factors will play a vital role in the coming years.

      Source - ICB
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