Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI) will recruit more than 1,000 engineers equipped with new-age digital skills in the country over the next year, according to a top executive of the company.

The company is expanding its engineers’ base in the country, keeping in line with its plans to accelerate its business in the region, said Mahesh Medhekar, Vice President- Human Resource, MBRDI. Currently, it has a team of around 7,000 people in its R&D centre in the country.

In fact, 2022 was Mercedes-Benz India’s best year, as it achieved the highest sales with 15,822 units. “India was Mercedes-Benz’s fastest-growing market across the globe, with more than 41 per cent y-o-y growth. We maintained this sales momentum in Q1 2023, with our best ever Q1 sales clocking 4,697 units,” noted Santosh Iyer, MD and CEO at Mercedes-Benz India.

Also read: Mercedes Benz eyes double digit growth in 2023 on boosting demand

Going electric

Moreover, the company has an aggressive EV roadmap for India and forecasts that one out of every four cars sold by 2027, will be an EV. “We will be launching new EVs in the next two years from our global portfolio for the Indian market,” Iyer added.

Speaking about the company’s ambition of going completely electric by 2030, Manu Saale, Managing Director, and CEO, MBRDI, told businessline that there is still a way to go when it comes to developing charging infrastructure along with the public charging infrastructure in the country, and every OEM just cannot keep on introducing its own.

“We are working towards our foray into the space as we understand the pains in the market. We want to bring in the right kind of charging hardware and operate it with charge point operators,” he said.

Additionally, the company has set up charging stations in all its dealerships and encourages its users to use it, but it believes it is not enough. According to Saale, fast charging has become a regular possibility for ensuring a higher adoption of EVs.

Also read: Mercedes-Benz introduces G-Class starting at ₹2.55 crore

“Our focus is to create a holistic EV ecosystem for our customers, comprising ultra-fast charging stations across the country, an extended warranty for batteries, and a best-in-class RV for our EVs. The peace of mind of customers, combined with an attractive EV portfolio, will help accelerate EV adoption in the segment,” said Iyer. 

Start-up programme

The company also launched its global start-up programme Autobahn in India in 2018; it mostly looks into tech and deep tech start-ups within the country that can support automotive engineering.

Currently, it is actively working with seven start-ups, including Noumenon Multiphysics, Camcom, BosonQ Psi, and others. “We initially put in funding of around €20,000, to begin on every project,” Saale said.

In terms of the ongoing work in the space of automated vehicles, Iyer said that while acceptance of autonomous driving and its practical implementation still have some time, its endeavour will be to continue equipping cars with ‘autonomous features’ in the most feasible manner to assist customers.

Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer to offer level 2 autonomous driving in India with ‘Evasive Steering Assist’ and ‘Active Brake Assist’ with ‘cross-traffic function’ in the top-end S-Class Maybach limousine, he added.

Mercedes will launch its bestselling SUV, the GLC, which already has huge anticipation from its customers across markets, in Q3 this year. With the launch of the SUV,its contribution to overall sales is expected to rise.