Bangalore: German premium and luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz on Wednesday voiced its opposition to any move to impose higher excise duty on diesel cars in the ensuing Budget, saying it would be counter-productive to the industry's growth.

"Such a move is uncalled for as diesel consumption by the auto segment is very small," Mercedes-Benz India Director (Sales and Marketing) Debashis Mitra told reporters here.

The government's reported plan to levy higher duty on diesel cars will force the company to make amends in its production plans and increase the cost of production, Mitra said.

The Petroleum Ministry had suggested the imposition of higher duty on the purchase of diesel cars to the Finance Ministry.

While the Petroleum Ministry has been asking for a hike in the excise duty on diesel cars, the Heavy Industries Ministry is opposing the move.

Earlier, Mercedes-Benz launched the first 'Trendz' concept stores at the UB City here.

The strategy is to showcase the company's latest offerings in up-market malls in metros and smaller cities in the country, Mitra said.

The company also unveiled its 'DTM' racing car and opened bookings for its 'Performance Driving Academy' that has been set at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida in association with Jaypee Sports international.

The company sold 7,430 cars in 2011, translating into 30 percent growth vis-a-vis 2010, and expects sales to grow at strong double-digit levels in the current calendar year,
Mitra added.

(Agencies)