Mercedes-Benz India to introduce connected car tech

by Jaiveer Mehra, Autocar India 01 Oct 2019

Mercedes-Benz India has announced that it will introduce connected car technology into its range of cars and SUVs from November 15, 2019. The tech will be introduced in three phases with Phase 1 seeing the launch of an On-board Diagnostics (OBD) port-based adapter with later phases seeing the introduction of an embedded SIM-based system and the company’s Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system with a virtual assistant.

As part of phase 1, owners can opt for an OBD port-based system called ‘Mercedes me Adapter’. The adapter will be available at an introductory price of Rs 5,000 – free for owners who bought their car in 2019 – and can be paired with all Mercedes cars produced from 2007 onwards. The OBD-based system that will link to a registered phone will offer 14 features such as vehicle health information, online appointment booking, roadside breakdown management, refuelling list etc.

Phase 2 will see the introduction of the embedded SIM-card-based ‘Mercedes me connect’ system on select models in the carmaker’s line-up. The system will allow for the implementation of greater connected car features such as vehicle tracking, remote lock/unlock, diagnostic functions, vehicle status monitoring, speed alerts and more. Phase 3 will see the debut of the Mercedes MBUX technology with virtual assistant or ‘Hey Mercedes’ with 30 plus connected car functions.

Digitalising sales and service
Mercedes has also announced plans to digitise aspects of its sales and service experience. An online configurator is now live, Augmented Reality technology will be introduced in the retail process in the near future. There’s also a new e-commerce website that will allow buyers to shop for all things Mercedes – from merchandise to cars. Online retail of used cars opens today, while that of new cars commences in January 2020.

An online service estimator as also been introduced. The estimator will allow customers to view dealer-specific service estimates for their cars, along with access to information about various service packages.

Mercedes-Benz is the latest carmaker to go big on digitisation in India. In fact, German compatriot and rival, Audi also introduced its connected car technology and digital initiatives in August.

Online retail sales for used cars
Mercedes Benz India has begun retailing pre-owned cars through its online portal.  The website gives the user the option to select the model year, the body type, the model variant, the drivetrain, the engine type and of course, the colour. The website also allows the user to customise the finance options and the price range for the car.

As per reports, the website even allows customisations in the insurance and the service plans. Finance is being provided by Daimler Financial Services India. Currently, the cars that are being sold through this portal are all previously owned by the company itself. These cars will have valid warranties

After the customisations are done, the saved configurations can be forwarded to the dealers to procure the same.