Mercedes-Benz India has enormous plans for 2022, especially in the electric vehicle area. Although the introduction of the EQS – the S-electric Class’s equivalent – was planned, Mercedes-Benz has also revealed that the car will be assembled in India, bolstering the country’s make-in-India capabilities. The first locally produced EQS is slated to arrive during the fourth quarter of this year, however the firm hasn’t said how much this will alter the car’s price.
Mercedes-Benz has announced the debut of ten vehicles spanning the Mercedes-Maybach, AMG, and EQ sub-brands, although the focus is currently on the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class limousine, the EQS, and the Mercedes-AMG GT-R Black Series.
The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is the company’s luxury internal combustion flagship. It has a long-wheelbase platform, Airmatic suspension with continuous adjustable damping, rear-axle steering, and E-Active Body Control, as well as the Mercedes-Maybach logo. The car follows in the footsteps of last year’s GLS Maybach, which sold out virtually immediately upon its debut in the country.
According to Mercedes-Benz India CEO Martin Schwenk, demand for luxury SUVs such as the basic GLE and GLS is so high that the current waiting period for these vehicles is around 6 months. The GLC is currently their best-selling SUV, while the LWB E-Class remains their best-selling sedan. While the primary cause of the delay is a scarcity of semiconductor chips, the company contends that the enormous demand for these SUVs around the world means they can’t produce them quickly enough. Merc’s Indian currently has over 3000 orders, making it the company’s highest-ever order bank.
The Maybach S-Class is a more classic type of luxury, with a traditional, if exceptional, kind of power – a range-topping, handcrafted 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 connected to Mercedes’ 9-speed automated gearbox. The AMG-GT Black Series marks the pinnacle of the brand’s AMG performance range, with 800Nm of torque and 720 horsepower cranked out by the same 4.0-litre Bi-turbo V8 that powers the normal AMG GT (the firing order of the pistons has been reconfigured, with a flat-plane crankshaft). The car will also feature a fixed wing, mechanical spoiler, and other weight-saving and downforce-enhancing features, making it significantly more track-focused than anything Mercedes currently manufactures. The firm also hinted at the debut of the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class later this year, though not directly.
The company continues to boast the largest retail network for a premium carmaker, with 94 shops spread over 50 cities, after becoming the first luxury carmaker to switch to a centrally-operated retail model. While the business now sells 12 AMG-badged automobiles in the country, it has declared plans to open more AMG Performance Centres throughout the world by 2022. There was no mention of the number or location of the AMG centres.
Mercedes-Benz India has also stated its intention to employ green energy to the fullest degree possible, claiming that by 2022, 100% of its energy needs will be fulfilled by renewable, green energy sources (at its Chakan plant). Starting with the local assembly of the EQS, the brand, which has invested Rs 26,000 crore in India, plans to lead the charge in the green luxury mobility industry. The EQS will essentially replace the formidable S-Class, and its local assembly will speak volumes about the subsidiary’s production capability, as it comes with a slew of high-tech electronic features, including a glass-covered hyper screen dashboard and a range of powertrains that rivals the Tesla Model S, including a 107.8 kWh battery.
Merc’s local assembly capacity has now reached 20,000 units per year, while Schwenk claims that the company is planning to increase production due to great demand. Martin Schwenk is confident of a “double-digit” compounded annual growth rate for 2022, a year when Merc’s technical finest will come in India, after seeing a 42.5 percent increase in sales compared to 2020.