Mercedes-Benz India is set to unveil its cheapest model today by revealing its B-Class sports tourer in Delhi. The B-Class is expected to be launched in the market by September. The B-Class is Mercedes-Benz's primary weapon to challenge the dominance of BMW and Audi in the premium car sector.
The Mercedes B-Class is expected to be priced under Rs.25 lakh. This will make it the cheapest model from the three German premium car brands, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The B-Class could well do what the X1 has done to BMW. The X1, BMW's cheapest model contributes about 30% of BMW's sales. The Q3, Audi's cheapest car is showing signs of taking the top spot in Audi's stables.
Mercedes-Benz India has stated that the B-Class will be aimed at a new set of customers. It is looking to expand its operations to Tier II cities from which a huge number of premium car buyers are emerging. To make things better, the B-Class has no direct competitor at any distance. Both Audi and BMW do not have a similar model in their stables and even if they do plan to bring one it will take many years to build one.
The B-Class will help Mercedes rake in the volumes that it desperately needs. However Mercedes-Benz is taking a risk with the B-Class as there will be a possibility of people comparing it with regular premium hatchbacks and MPVs.
The B-Class is expected to create a new market for itself. Analysts believe the new Mercedes will not eat in to the sales of the BMW X1 or the Audi Q3. The B-Class is expected to provide Mercedes the much needed boost after it was relegated to third spot in the premium car segment by BMW and Audi.
Mercedes-Benz is planning to open more showrooms across the country, particularly in Tier II cities where it has seen consistent sales. New showrooms and the new B-Class in the line-up could well be what Mercedes-Benz India needs now.