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April 20, 2001
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Mercedes-Benz launches new C-class

BS Motoring Desk

Mercedes-Benz India Ltd on Thursday presented the new C-class Mercedes at their plant in Pune. The C-class was unveiled by Jurgen Ziegler, managing director and chief executive officer, and Rolf Loeffler, executive director and head of technology.

The new C-class enters the wide gap that exists between the luxurious E-class Mercedes and other mid-sizers such as the Mitsubishi Lancer and the Opel Astra Club.

The C-class will come with two engine options, the C 180 petrol and the C 200 Common Rail Direct Injection diesel. The C 180 will retail for Rs 1.99 million for the petrol version and Rs 2.28 million for the diesel version, ex-showroom Bombay. Both will also be offered with manual and automatic gearboxes.

Ziegler said that the C-class does not fall in what is known as the traditional D segment. "It's much more than what you normally see in the segment. Actually, the C-class is placed higher in the market, in the E1 and E2 segments."

Of late, there has been manufacturer interest in launching cars in the so-called D segment, especially cars such as the Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord and Daewoo Magnus. When asked whether the E-class sales would be affected, Ziegler said, "Since the C-class is creating a new category in India, E-class sales would be affected, but only positively."

For the first time, AMG will be officially entering India. AMG, owned by Mercedes-Benz, is a company that specialises in tuning all Mercedes vehicles and providing them with specially designed aerodynamic kits and interior trim options. The manufacturer will be importing kits based on customer orders, which will be fitted at MBIL dealer outlets.

These customisation kits will be on offer for the three Mercedes saloons that are on sale in the country today, the C, E, and the S-class.

Mercedes has been rapidly launching cars in new segments in the country. The unveiling of the upgraded E-class was done at Auto Expo in Delhi last year, followed by the launch of the super luxury S-class in September 2000, and now the C-class. Mercedes also sells the MB 100D and MB 140D vans in the country.

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