Mercedes-Benz India on Monday inaugurated India’s largest workshop at an investment of Rs 52 crore.

The new workshop of Auto Hangar, the company’s dealer-partner in Mumbai, is spread over an area of over 100,000 sq. ft. It has 54 dedicated bays capable of servicing 60 cars each day and can employ more than 155 service personnel.

“World-class servicing standards will be the key differentiator and Mercedes-Benz will continue to create new benchmarks and take a lead. We have been focusing on strategically expanding our network in India and this new world-class workshop is yet another step to move closer to the customers,” said Peter Honegg, Managing Director and CEO.

Speaking to the media at the inauguration, Honegg said that the company was “way ahead of the competitors” with respect to its network of services.

“Service is the back-bone of the business. If your customer is not satisfied with the service, he will not come back to you.

“We are leading in service, not only number-wise but also quality-wise,” said Honegg, about the company’s focus on the after-sales services.

Terming the impact of the rupee depreciation a ‘terrible’ one, Honegg said the company was finding it difficult to keep up with the falling rupee.

“On an average, there is a 5-7 per cent increase in prices in 2012. This is partially due to natural inflation, government’s decision to hike excise duty and to make up for the falling rupee,” he said.

He assured that the company had not passed the fall-out of the rupee depreciation to the customer since most of it was hedged.

However, he added that if the rupee depreciated beyond Rs 75 (as compared to the Euro) it would be passed on to the customer.

“If the rupee goes to more than Rs 75, we will have to increase our prices dramatically, which will have a direct impact on numbers. Profitability is more important than growth.”

sneha.p@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 20, 2012)
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