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Kolhapur to rewrite record books with 180 Mercedes-Benzs

Kolhapur will overtake Aurangabad in terms of owners of the luxury car.

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Santosh Andhale

Updated: Dec 15, 2010, 12:47 AM IST

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Western Maharashtra’s Kolhapur, famous for its temples and footwear, will also be known for something else from now on.

More than 180 residents of the city will buy a Mercedes-Benz together to create a new record. Eight months ago, Aurangabad hogged the headlines after its businessmen booked a record 115 Mercedes-Benzs on the same day.

Business bodies like the The Shiroli Manufacturers Association and the Kolhapur Chamber of Commerce have joined the city’s industrialists to negotiate the sale of cars with a Pune-based Mercedes-Benz dealer. The group is preparing a list of people who would be interested in buying the car. Models of the car will be displayed in Kolhapur later this month to attract more buyers.

“More than 180 people have already registered their names with us,” said Anand Mane, president, Kolhapur Chamber of Commerce.     Turn to p3


“After the models are displayed in the city, we expect more than 200 people to buy the car. This car is a status symbol and hence, the demand for the vehicle is higher compared to other cars,” said Mane.

Kolhapur, rich with sugar processing factories and industrial estates, already has around 110 Mercedes-Benz cars running on its roads. But the city does not have a service centre for the luxury car. Owners of the vehicle have to go to Pune to get their vehicles serviced. Now, with the big order, the company has started building its first service station in the city.

Danish Shaikh, marketing manager, BU Bhandari Motors, a car dealer in Pune, which is in talks with the Kolhapur group to sell the vehicles, said, “We have had a few rounds of meetings with the buyers and will book orders after the models are exhibited in Kolhapur.

This deal could create a record for the highest number of Mercedez-Benz cars to be booked at one go. Since we had already done a similar deal in Aurangabad, we expect the negotiations to go on smoothly. The kind of incentives and offers that will be given to the buyers will depend upon the number of vehicles bought.”

“We are negotiating with the dealers to find out what incentives they can give us. An insurance company has promised to insure the car at 50% of the normal rate. Some banks are also ready to give loans at discounted interest rates,” said businessman Yogesh Kulkarni, who is part of the negotiating team.

To help prospective buyers choose a model, Mercedez-Benz is planning to bring all versions of the luxury car - C, E, M, S, ML and GL ranging between Rs25-90 lakh - to Kolhapur on December 18 and 19. If the deal is successful, the cars are expected to be delivered by February.

Kolhapur, surrounded by a rich agricultural belt, has been a ready market for most new car brands launched in the country. “The city has prospered since the 1950s as agriculture and industries have grown around it. I have used the car for a long time,” said Prabhakar Maydeo, a Mercedes owner in the city.

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