Luxury fleet operator Carzonrent becomes the largest owner of Mercedes cars in India

Germany's Mercedes-Benz yesterday said it has sold 90 customised Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars to Carzonrent, a Delhi-based car rental company, a move that reinforces market analysis that luxury car makers are targeting emerging nations to bolster their sales amid a depressed Western market.

In the biggest single purchase made by an Indian company this year, Carzonrent will add the 90 customised, gold-tinged C-class Mercedes to its fleet of 70 silver coloured C-Class bought in 2008, making Carzonrent the single largest owner of a Mercedes fleet in India with 160 vehicles.  

Carzonrent did not disclose the deal value, but customised, gold-tinged C-class Mercedes costs around Rs28 lakh each.

Generally, owning a fleet of luxury cars is a trend pioneered by the hospitality industry, and high-end organisations, and Mercedes sells around 15 per cent of its cars globally to fleet operators, but the trend is just beginning to grow in India.

In India, various international and domestic airlines, hotels and financial services companies buy Mercedes cars to service their premium guests, while high net worth individuals use it more as a status symbol.

Around 20-30 per cent of Mercedes sales in India come from Gurgaon, making it a centre for fleet sales. ''We have now set up a separate division to look into fleet sales as we are confident there is scope for growth here,'' said Debashis Mitra, director sales and marketing, Mercedes Benz India.