“Aurangabad has everything. It is an economic powerhouse, but investors are still scared of coming here due to its perceived negative image, which we have decided to change forever,” said Sachin Mulay, President of the Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture.
The group sent a seven-member team led by Mulay to Benz’s outlet in Pune to negotiate the price, and the German automobile-maker was too happy to do the bidding, considering that it would be the single-largest bulk booking in one go.
The Indian arm of Mercedes manufactures three models - S class, E class and C class - at its Pune plant, and the prices range from Rs 28 lakh to Rs 78 lakh per piece. Of the 150 Mercedes-Benz cars that were sold, there were 13 S-, 74 E-, 39 C-, 6 GL- and 18 M-Class cars.
According to Manas Dewan, while the S, E and C class of cars were manufactured in India, the GL and M class of cars were imported from Benz’s US plant.
“It was a mix of locally made and imported cars and there was shipment time and other issues... the buyers also wanted to take delivery just before Diwali,” Dewan told Deccan Herald.
Mercedes-Benz India’s MD and CEO Wilfried Aulbur personally attended the handing over ceremony in Aurangabad.
“All of us have worked very hard to reach where we are today. And we all felt that we deserved to satisfy ourselves- and to realize a long cherished dream. It could only have been the best- and hence Mercedes was the brand to be!” exclaimed Rahul Mishrikotkar who drove away with an E-Class.
“We are well travelled and have exposure to different global brands. Yet when we analysed options, Mercedes emerged as the obvious choice,” said Rahul Pagaria, another proud Mercedes Benz owner.
The cars were delivered by a Pune-based distributor B U Bhandari, which has now opened a special service centre in Aurangabad to cater to the new vehicles.
“Now we have a service center right at our hometown, and then there is the Mondial service for roadside assistance… who else can offer such comprehensive assurance?” added Atul Save.
“In short the fascinating cars, impeccable service, customer oriented packages, as well as the high resale value made Mercedes the obvious choice. Of course, the tristar emblem is an unsurpassable statement!” summarised Sameer Mulay, who bought an ML-Class.
Till date, Aurangabad had 15 Mercedes, of which 11 belonged to the Mulay family alone, while four belonged to four other families.