Mercedes-Benz India eyes double-digit 2010 sales growth

Mercedes-Benz India eyes double-digit 2010 sales growth

New Delhi: The Indian arm of Mercedes-Benz, a unit of Daimler, expects to post double-digit sales growth this year from a year ago as it launches new models in Asia’s fourth-largest auto market, its chief executive said.

Mercedes-Benz sold 3,220 cars in India last year, as compared to 3,250 in 2008.

“In 2010, we are ready with a range of products," Wilfried Aulbur told reporters, after launching two new models. He said the company will launch a few more models on Tuesday at the India Auto Expo in the capital city of New Delhi. “We will grow at very solid double-digit numbers," he said, without giving details. Keen to boost sales, global automakers will unveil a slew of cars at India’s Auto Expo, which runs from Tuesday to 11 January as they turn to one of the few remaining growth markets to keep their engines humming.

Mercedes-Benz India Ltd, fully owned by Daimler, had been making cars and trucks in India since 1994, but initially as a joint venture with the country’s largest vehicle maker Tata Motors.

After the joint venture ended in 1997, the German firm had been making its C, E and S class cars at a facility that it leased from Tata Motors until the end of 2008. It launched a new facility in Pune, in western Maharashtra state, in February last year.