Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Mar 30, 2004
DaimlerChrysler's Maybach gets a few calls
`Maybach' car on display at a hotel in Mumbai. Paul Noronha
Mumbai , March 29
DAIMLERCHRYSLER'S top of the line car, the hugely expensive Maybach, has notched up a couple of orders from the country's financial capital.
The car is being homologated for domestic sale and the German automaker's Indian arm is targeting sales of 9-10 units in the first year, two orders already said to be in place from Delhi.
At its launch in Mumbai today, Mr Viabhav Sanghi, Director, Sanghi Motorcar Co, said, "We have three orders on hand.''
Each Maybach is estimated to cost Rs 5.25 crore here, octroi and registration charges extra.
He did not disclose the identity of the buyers, except to say they were corporate clients from the existing family of Mercedes users.
Mr Sanghi whose company is a dealer for DaimlerChrysler, feels the value in Maybach's introduction lay in the rub-off effect it has on all Mercedes owners as a powerful brand statement from the manufacturer.
In fact, Sanghi Motor Co finds it unviable to open a service centre for the costly Maybach given the high investment and very few units of the model it may sell.
"Each service centre entails an investment of Rs 20 crore and this kind of car needs to be backed by round-the-clock customer support,'' he said.
According to him, DaimlerChrysler may consequently choose to open the service centre at its Pune base.
Deliveries here of the first Maybach will be four months from now, seven months from order placement being the norm.
A spokesperson for DaimlerChrysler India said, the car's homologation should come through without any hiccups.
ARAI, the facility entrusted with the task, has worked on models like the Mercedes S Class and SL 500.
So, the Maybach too should not pose a problem, he said.
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