Friday, June 23, 2017  
30 July, 2016 at 11:24 AM
Mercedes Benz chants petrol mantra in India
Roland Folger, MD, Merc India
The ruling issued by India’s Supreme Court on December 16, 2015 banning new diesel vehicles with 2000 cc engine capacity or more in the National Capital Region of Delhi, has left many an automaker clueless.

There are two key reasons for this. One, the National Capital Region of Delhi, NCR in short, is obviously the India’s biggest market for large vehicles as it’s home to the country’s who’s who in business, politics and what not. Secondly, diesel vehicles account for the largest chunk of sales in the categories with models that are equipped with engines with 2000 cc capacity or more. So, it’s no surprise that luxury carmakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW don’t even offer petrol versions in most segments. Other automakers such as Japan’s Toyota and homegrown Mahindra & Mahindra also depend heavily on the diesel models for their sustenance as well as growth.

The historic Supreme Court ruling forced these automakers to go to back their drawing boards as they fear that the restrictions on the diesel vehicles may be extended to other segments, and also to other parts of the country.

German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz already started chanting petrol mantra to arrest the sales slide on the account of the new diesel vehicle ban in the Delhi market. It recently made it clear that it would launch petrol avatars of all its models in India by September 2016.

Roland Folger, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, revealed at the launch event of Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC 43 that the carmaker had made a decision last year to bring in petrol versions of all its carlines as soon as possible. The petrol versions would provide a wider choice to customers, he maintained

However, the German luxury carmaker is not new to offering petrol models in India. It sold only petrol models in the country a decade ago, but gradually drifted towards diesels as sales of the diesel models gained momentum and its newly-arrived rivals started cashing on the demand.   

Nonetheless, Mercedes-Benz is still hopeful that a solution will soon be found for the contentious diesel ban and it will be back to normal for the automaker. But the billion dollar question is whether that will really happen, given the tardy and lengthy legal procedures and processes in the country.

Read More On : Mercedes Benz , Mercedes Benz India , pollution , diesel vehicle ban , luxury car
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