DaimlerChrysler Plans Overhaul For Its Vehicles

Pune, January 28: | Updated: Jan 29 2003, 05:30am hrs
A facelift for the S-Class -- complete with new engine, changed interiors and exteriors, new diesel engines for the E-Class and a 10 to 15 per cent growth in the topline. That is the road ahead for DaimlerChrysler India Limited (DCIL) for 2003.

Hans-Michael Huber, MD and CEO, DaimlerChrysler India, said the diesel engine E-Class will be launched in March this year. "There is a demand from our customers for a diesel version. In Europe too, 40 per cent of the vehicles sold are with diesel engines. Diesel technology has dramatically improved with the direct injection technology," Mr Huber said. The company will bring in the new S-Class with a more powerful 3.5 litre engine with increased displacement. It will be a completely new engine with the new generation V-6 engines and the latest cdi technology, Mr Huber said.

The new E-Class has been doing good numbers and is expected to sell about 550 units this year compared to about 390 last year. On the CBU front, the company is looking at about 125 cars with majority of them being high-end offerings.

Mr Huber was optimistic and was looking at growth rates between 10 and 15 per cent over the peak performance of 2001. While growth in revenues is certain, Mr Huber is not hazarding a guess on profitability this year. "The rising exchange rate is a cause for concern as it has a direct impact on cost of imports," says Mr Huber. Rising cost of development in Europe and high tariff and duties are worrying. With the C-Class and the S-Class touching 50 per cent localisation levels there appears little room for further localisation in the immediate future.

...All Set To Hold Golf Tournament On Feb 1
Geeta Nair

Pune, January 28: From flawless drives on the roads to smooth putts on the greens -- the Mercedes-Benz customers are in for a golfest. DaimlerChrysler India Limited is giving its customers a chance to add drive to their game of golf when the third edition of the Mercedes Trophy Golf tournament kicks off at the KGA Wills Sport Golf Course, Bangalore on Saturday, February 1, 2003.

The event, managed by the International Management Group (IMG), is part of the CRM initiative of DaimlerChrysler India. "Golf is a sporting activity that reflects our brand value of striving for perfection," says Hans-Michael Huber, managing director and CEO of DaimlerChrysler India. "We are committed to building an enduring relationship with friends and customers of Mercedes-Benz, not only by offering Mercedes-Benz vehicles with the latest technology, but extending rapport beyond through these initiatives."

Mr Rishi Narain, director-golf, IMG (South Asia) says all the players will have an opportunity to contest amongst one of the three distinct handicap divisions. The winners and runner-up in each of the three distinct handicap divisions at each of the three regional qualifier tournaments will vie for the top position at the finals in Pune. The three final winners get to participate at the Mercedes Trophy World Final 2003 to be played at Stuttgart, Germany between 25-30 September 2003.

The company has roped in the The Taj Group of Hotels hospitality, Mont Blanc for presenting their writing instruments and accessories to winners, HSBC and Swiss International Airlines for flying winners to the finals in Germany. The tournament goes to Delhi on February 22, 2003 (DLF Golf & Country Club), Mumbai on March 2 (Willingdon Sports Club) with the final on March 8, 2003 at the Poona Club Golf Course.