Nitin Gadkari to Mercedes-Benz: "Even I Can't Afford Your Car"

  • Oct. 1, 2022, 12:47 p.m.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday asked German premium car maker Mercedes-Benz to produce more cars locally and emphasised that such a move reduces the cost as well as increases affordability.

Speaking at the rollout of Mercedes-Benz India's first locally assembled EQS 580 4MATIC EV from its Chakan manufacturing facility in Pune, Gadkari, who is the Minister for Road Transport and Highways, said that there is a huge market for electric vehicles in the country.

"You increase the production. Only then is it possible to reduce the cost. "We are middle-class people. I can't even afford your car," the minister said.

The latest EV from the German car maker comes with a price tag of  1.55 crore.

The EQS 580 joins the company's EQC SUV and AMG EQS53 4MATIC flagship EV.

Mercedes-Benz India began its electro-mobility push in India with the October 2020 launch of its all-electric SUV EQC as a fully imported unit priced at 1.07 crore.

According to Mr. Gadkari, there are a total of 15.7 lakh registered electric vehicles in the country.

There is a large market, with overall EV sales increasing 335 percent, he said, adding that with the country's express highways being built, Mercedes-Benz India will have a good market for these cars.

He noted that the Indian automobile industry currently stands at  7.8 lakh crore, in which exports are to the tune of  3.5 lakh crore, and "my dream is to make it a  15-lakh crore industry," he noted.

Mr. Gadkari also mooted the idea of Mercedes-Benz setting up joint ventures to establish vehicle scrapping units, which would help the company reduce its parts costs by as much as 30 per cent.

"As per our records, we have 1.02 crore vehicles ready for scrapping. We have only 40 units. My estimate is that we can open four scrapping units in one district. And so easily, we can open 2,000 such units, "he said.

"My suggestion is that you can set up some such units which will give you raw materials for recycling, which will reduce your component cost by 30 per cent." " The government is encouraging such facilities, "and it is important that we get cooperation from your side," the minister said.

The EQS 580 4MATIC offers an 857 km range (ARAI certified). The high power density of the lithium-ion battery comes with a usable energy content of 107.8 kWh and is equipped with a powerful 400-volt battery manufactured using the latest lithium-ion technology.

Author : Rajdhani Delhi Representative

Rajdhani delhi representative

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