When it comes to India, small is big. Every carmaker has been trying to get a share of the small car market pie. The turnaround Ford has managed in India with the Figo in just a year goes to explain the importance of the B-segment in the Indian context. And while it’s obvious for the mainstream car manufacturers to hustle for this space, even premium carmakers are eyeing the opportunity.
If some reports are to be believed, Mercedes-Benz is exploring the possibilities to launch a small car for the Indian market. While no specifics have been divulged about this new project, a small car with the three pointed star, and a substantially less price than even the C-class makes business sense. The company has the A and B class cars in its international line-up as options, but the interesting bit here is that M-B is mulling a ground up small car platform for this market. Although the costs involved in developing a car ground-up is enormous, and there has to be sustained volumes for such a project to be feasible, the company is still showing intent to consider the option.
The company is looking at modifying its Smart platform to suit the Indian conditions. Smart is a premium small car brand by M-B which offers two and four seater small cars with the name ForTwo and ForFour primarily in the American and European market. The car will be tweaked to suit the price and practicality sensibilities of the Indian audiences. Mercedes-Benz may utilize its alliance with Renault-Nissan to develop a cost-effective model for India. If all goes well, we may soon see Mercedes compacts zipping around on our streets.