Mercedes-Benz rolled out the long-wheelbase E Class, the first “made in India for India“ car in the Daimler world, as the world's largest luxury-car maker seeks to claw its way back to strong double-digit growth here in 2017.
Hit by curbs on diesel vehicles and demonetisation in 2016, Mercedes-Benz registered a minor decline in India volumes. But with 13 new models lined up for launch in 2017 and more tailored-for-India cars, the company is expecting to regain the lost ground this year.
The new stretched E Class sedan (priced between Rs.56.15 lakh and Rs.69.47 lakh, ex-showroom Mumbai) is expected to be a big volume driver. It will be assembled at the company's Chakan factory in the outskirts of Pune, making it the only manufacturing base for right-hand-drive and extendedwheelbase E Class in the world.
Roland Folger, managing director of Mercedes-Benz India, said that with over three-fourths of its E Class buyers being chauffeured around, it was a natural decision for Mercedes to introduce the long-wheelbase variant in India. Of over 1 lakh vehicles sold by Mercedes-Benz in India, about 34,000 have been E Class sedans.
In its 10th generation, the new E Class offers 50% more space at the back with seats that can recline up to 37 degrees. The car is 188 millimetres longer than its predecessor and stretches beyond 5 metres.