To B all that a Merc can be
By Ammar Alvi
23rd September 2012 12:00 AM
German auto giant Mercedes-Benz, which had earlier announced its entry into compact class segment and unveiled its Sports Tourer B Class, finally launched it formally in India. The response has been overwhelming for the company which claims to have sold out all units for 2012. Will this be the game changer for the three pointed star?
Both BMW and Audi have made the competition in the luxury market extremely stiff for Mercedes-Benz, the German car maker that has been the oldest of the three in India. Not only did it lost its Number 1 position it also fell to Number 3. This has not gone down well with the company. Last year the company decided to upgrade all its models, scale production, allocate more investments and above all launch more products in all segments possible. The all new B-class is a very refined Sports Tourer which the company hopes to use to reach out to new customers.
The class globally has been a successful model and had sold more than 75,000 in the first few months of the global launch and combines the versatility of an MUV, ride quality of a sedan and performance of an SUV. It is a cross-over, a segment which has been successful in India thanks to the likes of X1 and Q3 launched by BMW and Audi respectively.
The trendy and innovative new B-Class is being marketed by Mercedes-Benz India in an equally Innovative manner. Mercedes-Benz India’s unique “Ultimate Touring Trails” contest has witnessed participation from over one lakh people and celebrates an active lifestyle.
According to Debashis Mitra, Director, Sales & Marketing, Mercedes-Benz India, “We are extremely excited with the initial response of the B-Class in India. Our strategy of introducing the segment and then launching the car has been well received by our customers.”
According to the company, it is the first of Mercedes-Benz’s premium compact cars, and boasts the extremely sporty design coupled with 7G-DCT, Dual Clutch Transmission with paddle shift which is normally found in high end sports cars like the SLS AMG. The core Mercedes-Benz values of safety and reliability have been kept in mind and the B class has seven airbags including a knee airbag—a first for any car in this segment. Also, features like Attention Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Stability Programme, Acceleration Skid Control, Brake Assist System and a tyre pressure loss warning indicator make pretty safe on the Indian turf.
The sporty appeal of the B-Class is further complemented by its panoramic sunroof, a sports package and aggressive body styling, dual exhaust, perforated disc brakes, Bi Xenons and special alloy wheels are also seen in this model. The new B class is available in two variants, B 180 and the B 180 Sport, and the price starts from Rs 21.49 lakh and goes up to Rs 24.87 lakh for the Sport variant (all prices are Mumbai ex-showroom).
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