The new S-Class is priced at Rs.1.57 crore (ex-showroom Delhi)

What is the probability of a car priced nearly Rs.2 crore selling like hotcakes in India at a time when the general automobile market here is reeling under severe pressure due to economic slowdown and low consumer sentiment? Very high indeed.

German luxury car maker Mercedes Benz, on Wednesday, said it sold all the 125 units of the launch edition of its new S-Class allocated by its headquarters for India within 16 days of opening the bookings for the model. The new S-Class is priced at Rs.1.57 crore (ex-showroom Delhi).

“Economic activity has slowed down. There is uncertainty which has affected the vulnerable section rather than the rich. People who depend on loans for vehicles are not buying because of prevailing sentiment and higher interest rates,” Sugato Sen, Deputy Director-General at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, said.

Audi India Head Joe King said, “The growing upper middle-class is the driver to the luxury car segment, in general, and for us as well. So, while the upper-middle class continues to grow, the luxury market will also grow substantially.

“The great thing about the market in India is that it is growing, and there is such a huge potential here. There is an unbelievable optimism in the country, and the aspiration level of the people is very high.”

Mercedes Benz India Managing Director and CEO Eberhard Kern said this month the company would also be celebrating 50,000 ‘Mercs’ on Indian roads since it entered the country in 1995.

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