Mercedes-Benz India has expanded its E-Class line-up,as well as its AMG portfolio with the launch of two hot new AMGs – the E63 S and the E53. The E63 S AMG is priced at Rs 1.70 crore while the E53 comes in at Rs 1.02 crore, while prices for the regular E-Class in India range between Rs 63.60-80.90 lakh (ex-showroom). The launch of these AMGs also brings the standard wheelbase E-Class to India; the regular E-Class models are all long wheelbase units.
What’s the AMG India strategy?
Mercedes has put a lot of effort into its AMG line in India,and the company’s strategy with the brand is to bring in more and more customers into the fold with many entry-level offerings.
Speaking to Autocar India at the launch, Santosh Iyer,vice president – sales and marketing at Mercedes-Benz India, said “for us, the AMG strategy is all about getting more customers into the fold so that they can happily upgrade to higher models, if we don’t get more people into the fold, going straight to the 63 becomes difficult.”
Essentially, the lower-spec AMG models are meant to be stepping stones in the AMG brand, and to help sustain the higher-spec models. To this effect, Mercedes-Benz has not only brought in many of its lower series AMGs but has also begun locally assembling them. It already introduced the locally made AMG A35 and AMG GLA 35 in India, and even the 43 series models like the AMG GLC 43 and AMG C43 Coupe are currently assembled here.
Mercedes-AMG 53 and 63 models will come as CBUs
The local assembly plan,however,will only extend to the lower series of cars. This is not just from a price and volume point of view, but also due to the fact that, with imports, Mercedes can offer a higher level of customisation.
“With CBUs, a lot of customisation is possible and at the higher end we have seen an increased need for individualisation, thus we would like to keep the 53 and 63 as CBUs, whereas the 43 and the 35s is what we will locally do with AMG,” said Iyer.
It is interesting to note that while Mercedes could technically assemble the 53s here in India, it would not be able to do so with the 63s,as the 4.0-litre,bi-turbo V8 engine is hand-built in Affalterbach, Germany, thus ruling out local assembly.
AMG’s performance in India
Mercedes-Benz has recorded a whopping three times, year-to-date growth (207 percent) with the AMG brand in India, thanks to their localisation efforts and more entry-level models in the AMG family. With the launch of the E-Class AMGs, the performance brand now has 11 models on offer here in India.