Mercedes-Benz today broke into the ultra-luxurious SUV segment with the introduction of the first-ever SUV in its Maybach range.
The German auto major Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday launched its ultra-luxury SUV ''Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC'' in India with a price tag starting at Rs 2.43 crore (ex-showroom).
The Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC is the first-ever SUV offering in the company's ultra-luxurious ''Mercedes-Maybach'' range. It is the only second Maybach model to be rolled out in the Indian market, following the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, Mercedes-Benz India said in a statement.
Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director and CEO Martin Schwenk said, "Luxury motoring with an SUV in India is re-imagined with the introduction of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC."
He added that the company is now glad to hand over these sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to discerning customers who have expressed exceptionally high interest in this fine model that rewrites expectations in the luxury SUV segment.
Schwenk also said the Maybach brand "represents the pinnacle of luxury" and the new SUV "blends classic old-world charm and supreme comfort with the most cutting-edge technology to redefine the luxury experience on wheels".
The company said it has already sold out the entire allocation of the new SUV for 2021 with 50 units sold even before the official launch in India and the deliveries will begin in the next few weeks.
"We saw a very strong interest in the car. We have sold more than 500 units of the S Maybach over the years in India. So, there is a strong traction for the Maybach range itself," Schwenk told PTI.
He said the next allocations are being configured and the deliveries of the same will begin in the first quarter of 2022.
When asked about the response to the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC and the underlying market sentiment, Schwenk said, "It tells us that we can hope for a V-shaped recovery like we witnessed in last September. I would think we have relatively high demand which we had before the second wave of COVID-19 hit. I am quite confident in the market and in terms of broader economic context."
Also, based on the feedbacks from the other launches that the company has done such as the GLA SUV, he said the market should come back as the opening up further continues with COVID-19 case load going down.
"I am hopeful that we will have a good festive season. We are quite optimistic," he said.
Schwenk added that building around the positive outlook, the company would look at restarting and ramping up its business in a phased manner, in sync with the unlocking of different markets.
Schwenk also reiterated that Mercedes-Benz India''s 2021 product strategy remains on track. With the market outlook remaining positive at present, it will bring more products across segments in the coming months.
He said the customer age for the Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC ranges between 40 years and 45 years with sports personalities and film celebrities topping the list.
The vehicle has ''first-class private jet like individual rear seats'' which can be reclined by 43.5 degrees with electrical adjustment with memory and electrically extending leg rest along with massage functions.
It also has two folding tables at the rear with refrigerated compartment incorporated into the rear armrest.
The model is powered by a V8 3,982 cc petrol engine capable of accelerating from 0-100 km per hour in 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 250 km per h.
Among the luxury features, it is also equipped with e-active body control, which acts to optimise driving feel, yet minimises the motions felt by passengers. Besides, it also has a dedicated Maybach drive programme for the suspension and powertrain that "offers rear-seat passengers the ultimate in ride comfort", the company said.