The Economic Times of India reports that luxury car maker DaimlerChrysler is finding more takers for the E class than the lower priced C class.

Sales are small for both models, but the differences are intriguing and analysts say they say something about the multi-faceted nature of the emerging Indian market.

According to The Economic Times, figures for the April-June '04 show the E class, priced at Rs 35 lakh, has seen its sales jump from 44 units in April '04 to 55 in May '04 and 114 in June '04.

While the C class, priced Rs 12 lakh cheaper at Rs 23 lakh, sold 51 units in April '04, fell to 19 in May '04 and 13 in June. Affordability, rising incomes and a wider choice are encouraging buyers to jump segments.

The E-class is aimed at corporate bigwigs while the compact C-class has been designed to attract younger car buyers and place them on the Mercedes ladder before they start greying at the temples.

Indeed, the C-class is considered within the striking distance of cars like Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Says a car dealer in The ET, "DaimlerChrysler's recent C class price hike has been accentuated by the price cut announced by rival luxury brands from Honda and Toyota. Honda's D-segment model Accord is priced at Rs 14.65 lakh for the VTi-L manual variant and Rs 15.35 lakh for the automatic variant while Toyota's Camry stands at Rs 17.3 lakh." The German carmaker hopes recent facelifts should help raise volumes of both the C and E classes.