Mercedes Benz India has its plate full with no less than four car launches in 2013: The G63 AMG, the GL-Class SUV, the B-Class Diesel and the A-Class Sports Hatchback are four new cars that the German car maker will introduce in India over the next one year. Given the fact that three of these cars will be assembled at Mercedes Benz India’s Chakan assembly unit, the wheels at Mercedes Benz India are turning at full clip. Therefore, the luxury car maker will launch the recently unveiled CLA sedan only in 2014, and not late 2013, as previously anticipated.
This announcement was made by Mercedes Benz India’s top honcho, Mr Eberhard Kern, who happens to be the new Managing Director of the German luxury car maker in India. The 2014 Mercedes Benz CLA sedan, which like the A-Class and the B-Class is based on the MFA platform, will be assembled in India through completely knocked down kits. Touted to the priciest amongst the new crop of entry level Mercedes Benz car models based on the MFA platform, the CLA sedan is expected to be priced at about INR 25 lakhs for the base version.
The CLA sedan will be positioned below the C-Class, as Mercedes Benz’s entry level sedan. Internationally, the CLA sedan will take on the cars like the upcoming Audi A3 sedan and the BMW 1-Series sedan. In India too, this battle royale could play out if Audi and BMW decide to launch the A3 sedan and 1-Series sedan respectively. For now though, Audi doesn’t seem keen on “diluting” its brand with the A3 sedan while BMW India has confirmed only the 1-Series hatchback. Coming back to the CLA sedan, the car is essentially an A-Class hatchback with a boot attached will seat four adults in comfort while five will be a squeeze of sorts.
The CLA sedan will share most parts with the A-Class and this includes the turbo petrol and turbo diesel engine line up. The transmission too, in this case the 7 Speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, will be borrowed from the A-Class. All this parts sharing is expected to give Mercedes Benz India the economies of scale, a facet around which the MFA platform revolves. In 2014, Mercedes Benz will add the GLA crossover, another derivative of the MFA platform, to its line up. The 2015 Mercedes Benz GLA crossover is expected to be launched in India as well.