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As large and stylish become hot favourites, SUVs put compact luxury cars on the death lane

Small luxury cars were once the volume generators for the automotive industry. Today, companies are pulling them out of showrooms. Mercedes-Benz India, for example, has phased out three of its four models in less than a year.

July 20, 2020 / 10:46 PM IST

Size does matter – at least when it comes to luxury cars.  India’s growing appetite for stylish and large SUVs has left compact luxury cars gasping for breath, even forcing companies to pull them out of showrooms.

Once hailed as ‘volume generators’, small luxury cars today are non-existent, with India mirroring the dwindling global trend.

Mercedes-Benz, India’s largest luxury carmaker, has phased out three of its four models in the compact segment in less than a year. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class, B-Class, and the CLA, along with the GLA, once accounted for 30 percent sales volumes.  GLA is the only surviving member now. All four shared a common vehicle platform.

Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, said: “At the moment, we are in the refresh phase. We will bring in the A-Class limousine and the GLA. Other models will remain quiet at the moment. We believe that with these models (A-class Limo and GLA), we have a complete lineup for the time being. We have a complete SUV lineup which is completely refreshed. The A-class limousine is a dynamic car, it is spacious and has a strong potential.”