The minister says that even he is not able to afford a Mercedes car
Gunning for local production of premium cars that would increase the affordability of brands like those of Mercedes-Benz, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said even he could not afford to buy such luxury cars due to their high cost.
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On September 30, Gadkari unveiled Mercedes-Benz India's first locally assembled EQS 580 4MATIC EV in Pune. The car is priced at Rs 1.55 crore (ex-showroom) as against its import price of Rs 2.45 crore (ex-showroom).
“You increase the production, only then it is possible to reduce cost. We are middle-class people, even I can't afford your car,” PTI quoted Gadkari as saying at Mercedes-Benz’s Chakan manufacturing facility in Pune on Friday.
This is the first time EQS 580 4MATIC is being produced outside Germany. The luxury car is set to be India’s longest-range EV, with a range of up to 677 km (WLTP) and 857 km (ARAI certified). The company said the car can be charged up to 300 km (WLTP) in 15 minutes at a fast-charging station.
Gadkari said there was a huge market for electric vehicles in the country.
"I'm making a lot of express highways to create demand for you," Business Today quoted the minister as telling the Mercedes-Benz management.
At present, the Indian automobile industry size stands at Rs 7.8 lakh crore, of which exports make up Rs 3.5 lakh crore. Gadkari said his dream was to make it a Rs 15-lakh crore industry. The minister pointed out that the country had a total of 15.7 lakh registered electric vehicles at present.
Gadkari also mooted the idea of the German auto giant setting up joint ventures for establishing vehicle scrapping units, which will help the company bring down the costs of parts by as much as 30 percent.
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(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)