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Old 2nd June 2008, 08:20   #1
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Default Mercedes launches CNG sedans in India

I just read this article of economic times about Benz launching CNG sedans in India, i don't know if this has already been discussed here (did a quick search and could not find anything) Here is the article.

NEW DELHI: You needn’t loosen your purse strings on this one as it runs on compressed natural gas (CNG), the cheapest auto fuel in the world. The three-star iconic luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz, just drove in with a CNG-complaint engine, making it more fuel efficient than the India’s cheapest car Maruti 800, which runs only on petrol.

New CNG variant of Mercedes-Benz runs over 20 km on a kg of CNG against its petrol sibling which guzzles a litre for every 12 km. Moreover, CNG comes at less than half the price — Rs 19 — against Rs 45.52 for petrol in Delhi. And it’s much more cleaner than petrol.

As energy crisis grips the world and speculations mount about a hefty fuel price hike, CNG has taken centre stage in Mercedes India plans. The German company has already imported a couple of CNG-compatible cars in Delhi and Mumbai, allowing even the monied to have cheaper fuel options. According automobile industry sources, Mercedes-Benz plans to bring its globally-successful CNG sedans to India.

“We have some cars running on CNG in India. It’s a successful technology and has been developed over the years. We are also trying the bio-diesel option on the E Class saloon here. If these extensive trials are successful, we shall introduce these cars in India too,” said a Daimler India senior executive.

Mercedes-Benz, India’s largest luxury carmaker, had sold 2,491 cars in 2007. Buoyed by 50% increase in sales to 1,330 cars — both locally made and imported — in the first four months of 2008, it is looking at its worldwide successful new CNG models to garner higher sales.

It had already launched its B class B170 NGT and the E 200 CNG sedans in the US and Europe and plans to extend them to India. For its new CNG range in India, Mercedes is banking on institutional sales where vehicles ply largely on CNG technology.

Other luxury car makers are also not lagging behind on green plans. BMW is looking at bringing its clean hydrogen technology, which runs on water and emits only steam. The technology has not yet been commercialised.

“The high-tech BMW Hydrogen 7 is our answer to green fuels. It is an expensive technology but with rapid expansion of the luxury car market in India, there is a potential for alternative fuels in future,” said BMW India spokesperson.

CNG and other green fuels are likely to change the image of luxury cars known for guzzling fuel. With crude oil touching $135 a barrel, alternative fuel options are becoming basic characteristic of luxury cars too. With over 7,000 luxury cars sold in India in FY08, some exciting fuel options are likely to hit the segment soon.


SOURCE: Mercedes-Benz drives new CNG sedans into India- Automobiles-Auto-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times
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Old 2nd June 2008, 12:11   #2
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Nice Scoop. God knows how many will sell as people buying such expensive sedans are a little picky about using a Janta fuel. Just about declaring a Merc with CNG might just fret them to no ends. So I am skeptical about this one.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 12:29   #3
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No. Please No.

Not this atleast. A mercerdes is supposed to be a luxury car and the fuel efficiency is not bad enough to introduce the CNG

Also if people can buy the car, they surely can buy its fuel.

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Old 2nd June 2008, 12:32   #4
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Does a Merc petrol have an FE of 12 as mentioned in the article ?
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Old 2nd June 2008, 12:46   #5
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that could be on highway kmpl under standard test conditions for the petrol version. Also which CNG car would return 20 km per kg. tall unrealistic claim.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 13:33   #6
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Hybrid is fine but a CNG tank sitting in the trunk of your Merc... big turn off !

Good move nonetheless, they are desperate to win back sales after BMW has eaten up bigtime into their market.

Only time will tell if this becomes reality, I guess getting in the Bluetech technology is a better idea.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 13:48   #7
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Exactly. A hybrid might find buyers but a Hybrid is more expensive than a normal car of the same series. A cng version...come on!! I doubt they will find any buyers except in the tourist taxi range maybe.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 14:44   #8
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Taxis and Hotel Shuttles may opt for it to reduce costs. But i doubt if the private owners would go for it. Anyways it is a good move on Merc's part as part of providing a more environment friendly car as compared to some of its gas guzzlers.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 15:27   #9
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Come on guys, I think its a good step taken by Mercedes. Its very important for us to shift from petrol to alternate fuel like CNG which is more fuel efficient and less polluting. Guys its not only about who can afford the Fuel and who cannot. Its more about what role can you making Earth a better Place to Livein. Mercedes has definately taken a Step forward in this direction. If I had that kind of money to afford A Merc It would have no doubt been a CNG version for less pollution that it emits.

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Originally Posted by abhinav.gupta88 View Post
No. Please No.

Not this atleast. A mercerdes is supposed to be a luxury car and the fuel efficiency is not bad enough to introduce the CNG

Also if people can buy the car, they surely can buy its fuel.

Thumbs Down Mercerdes
Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
Exactly. A hybrid might find buyers but a Hybrid is more expensive than a normal car of the same series. A cng version...come on!! I doubt they will find any buyers except in the tourist taxi range maybe.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 15:35   #10
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The FE they are claiming is totally unrealistic.


@somebodystopme:
You are correct that apart from just fuel cost, it can give cleaner emessions and hence the car can me more environment friendly.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 16:38   #11
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I think this is a terrible decision! It just doesn't fit in with their brand image. Plus, they already have some of the most competent diesels around.

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Originally Posted by theodore_ftw View Post
Taxis and Hotel Shuttles may opt for it to reduce costs. But i doubt if the private owners would go for it.
Negative. Taxis and shuttles need boot space for airport runs.

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The FE they are claiming is totally unrealistic.
Agreed. I'd like to know which petrol Merc gives 12 kpl. Last I checked, none went over the 7 kpl mark.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 17:35   #12
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From a PR point of view Merc should not do this.

Although its well known as a clean fuel in the west, natural gas kits in India got off to a bad start reputation wise due to the poorly executed kits and the buyer demographic.

For the same reason, they dont sell A-classes in India, they should't pursue this CNG route..it will only hurt their image.

Last edited by Mpower : 2nd June 2008 at 20:34.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 18:07   #13
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Also, I would think that people who can afford to buy cars for 30L+ can also afford to foot the fuel bills of the car.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 22:46   #14
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I feel if they take the CNG route, BMW is gonna have more buyers lined up. Merc image is going to take a huge beating.
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Old 2nd June 2008, 23:26   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I think this is a terrible decision! It just doesn't fit in with their brand image. Plus, they already have some of the most competent diesels around.
That is what I did not remember. The Bluetech diesels are some of the cleanest diesels.
I thought that petrol merc did near 9-10, but if its near 7kmpl or around, its really bad on Merc.'s part that they put up this stuff.

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Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
Also, I would think that people who can afford to buy cars for 30L+ can also afford to foot the fuel bills of the car.
Correct. And in india most of the taxis are not merc, so taxi is not a segment that Merc is targetting in India.



From emession point of view, I agree that CNG is better, but then I feel that this move is not really Necessary.
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