Will stop selling BS-IV vehicles in few weeks: Mercedes-Benz India

Will stop selling BS-IV vehicles in few weeks: Mercedes-Benz India
New Delhi, Dec 3 () German luxury car maker Mercedes Benz on Tuesday said it has stopped producing BS-IV vehicles in India and will stop retail sales of the same within a few weeks as it gears up for full transition to stricter emission norm, BS-VI.

The company, which on Tuesday launched BS-VI version of its premium SUV GLC with a starting price of Rs 52.56 lakh (ex-showroom all India), said it has already stopped wholesales of BS-IV vehicles.

"We have stopped production of BS-IV already since a couple of weeks...Basically we have no wholesales (of BS-IV stock). We have in the retail network still some cars but they will follow natural sales process in the next couple of weeks," Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director & CEO Martin Schwenk said here in an interaction.
So, he added,"we will be finishing selling BS-IV cars in the next few weeks, well ahead of the deadline."
The stricter BS-VI emission norms will come into effect from April 1, 2020. No automobile manufacturer can produce or sell BS-IV vehicles after March 31, 2020. The company, which had last year introduced BS-VI compliant version of its flagship S-Class sedan, said it is fully ready for nationwide migration to BS-VI for both petrol and diesel engines, irrespective of fuel availability.
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Schwenk said due to the type of technology Mercedes-Benz uses for its diesel engines, its BS-VI vehicles can still run on BS-IV fuels.

When asked about the market condition, he said there is visible improvement in consumer sentiments in the second part of the year 2019.

"The (current) mood is good which was not the case six months ago. The network feels we have good strength at the moment. We are confident because of the products we are offering," he said. While there was lot of hesitation in the first half of the year, dealers and customers are "not nervous" now, Schwenk said.

Factors such as elections, push for electric vehicles and confusion due to BS-VI transition from BS-IV had played part in sales slowdown in the first half, he said, adding that the steps taken by the government to boost the economy, specially auto sector, had an impact in uplifting sales in the second half.

He, however, said the company's sales in 2019 will be lower than in 2018, when it sold 15,538 units, as the first "half of the year (2019) was weaker than 2018 and we cannot balance it out in the last few weeks".

Commenting on the latest generation of the GLC, Schwenk said, "The launch of the new GLC reiterates our product offensive for the Indian market."

Stating that GLC is one of Mercedes-Benz India's highest selling SUVs, having sold over 7,000 units since its debut, he said the launch of the latest generation GLC "also marks the introduction of the next generation of MBUX with the aim to improve driver's interaction with the various systems in the car".

The vehicle will be available in both petrol and diesel engine options.

While the petrol option GLC 200 is priced at Rs 52.75 lakh, the diesel variant GLC 220d is priced at Rs 57.75 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, India). The company said the new GLC is also the most tech-savvy SUV in the locally made SUV line up and is its first ever locally made SUV to get Active Braking Assist. RKL RVK

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