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Mercedes developing small car for India


On the back of a thriving domestic economy fuelled by an increasing appetite for consumption, global auto giant Mercedes-Benz is looking at developing a small car for the Indian market, a senior company executive said.

The company, however, has not arrived at any time-frame to translate the idea into a concrete plan, the executive said.

"We can develop our own (small) car for India in future," Mercedes Benz India's Chief Financial Officer and Management Board Member, Uwe Jarosch, told reporters here.

The car development requires a huge investment and therefore it needs to be backed up by volumes, Jarosch said.

"If we are investing Euro 1-billion on development of the car, then definitely (we) want huge volumes to justify it," he said.

The company's R&D centre in Bangalore, which supports the company's headquarters in Germany is likely to work on the small car project.

Mercedes-Benz also plans to nearly double the headcount at its Bangalore centre from the present 600, by next year, he said.

As a part of its business strategy, the German car-maker also plans to set up brand centres with investment from its existing dealers, which would show-case around 20-odd models.

The first such centre is expected to be set up in Delhi by March this year, Jarosch said, adding Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai centres would come up at a later stage.