Mumbai, Jan 24 (PTI) The country’s largest luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz India, which controls over 40 percent of the volume, Thursday launched the V Class, creating the luxury multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment in the country.

The Spanish-made V Class comes in two variants–the Expression and the Exclusive–priced at Rs 68.40 lakh and Rs 81.90 lakh, respectively.

The new MPV comes with a 2.2-liter diesel engine that is BS VI-compatible and is available in both 6- and 7 seater long-wheelbase (Exclusive) and extra-long-wheelbase (Expression) variants.

Made in the Basque region of Spain, the V Class is sold in over 90 markets globally, the company said.

The auto major, which retained the top position in the luxury car segment for the fourth consecutive year by selling 15,538 units in 2018, said the V Class is the first of the 10 models lined for launch in 2019.

The luxury vehicle segment accounts only for around 1.5 percent of the 2.5-million-domestic passenger vehicles market. In 2018, the segment is estimated to have logged in a tepid 4.5 percent growth at around 41,000 units.

“The market was challenging in 2018 moving up a bit in volume. Despite that we could keep our market share and our product offensive was one of the key reasons for us retaining the market leadership,” said Martin Schwenk, the new managing director and chief executive at Mercedes-Benz India.

“We are excited to begin 2019 by introducing an exciting product from our global portfolio, the V-Class, which is imported from Spain and this launch underscores our intent to enter the luxury MPV segment here,” Schwenk said.

Mercedes-Benz India completes 25 years in 2019 and as part of the celebrations we have some of the most awaited products planned for the year, he added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.