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February 1, 2011

INDIA: Mercedes relaunches Maybach

Mercedes-Benz has reintroduced its hyper-luxury Maybach car in India on Tuesday, saying there are now enough super-rich potential customers there.

Mercedes-Benz has reintroduced its hyper-luxury Maybach car in India on Tuesday, saying there are now enough super-rich potential customers there.

The car will be priced at up to INR51m (US$1.1m), AFP reported.

“There are customers out there who can afford the unparalleled luxury of this car,” said Mercedes Benz India chief executive Peter Honegg at the launch, saying the company was aiming its cars at those who can afford private jets.

Last year, India’s fast-growing economy minted 17 new billionaires, driving the total to a record 69, according to a Forbes rich list.

The company last year sold 200 units worldwide and launched the 57 S and 62.

Honegg gave no car sales targets for India but said Mercedes sells around 20 Maybachs a year in China.

Mercedes launched the Maybach initially in India in 2004 but Honegg said it “may have been too early. Now it is time for a second push.”

He told just-auto six units were sold after the initial launch. Rolls-Royce and Bentley are already on sale in India.

Despite recording record sales in India in 2010, Mercedes-Benz India has no plans to enter the small car market in India, Honegg told just-auto at the same event.

Mercedes Benz is spending another US$80m expanding its new plant at Chaken in the next couple of years. Mercedes sold 5,820 units in 2010.

“We would cross the 6,000 mark in all likelihood in 2011. We grew almost 80% in 2010 whereas the luxury car market grew at 60%,” said Mercedes board member Suhas Kadlaskar.

“Last year was an exceptional year, the Indian luxury car market will continue to grow on average 25-30% annually.” Mercedes launched 22 models in India in 2010.

Additional reporting: Satnam Singh

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