HomeBUSINESSMercedes-Benz India aims record car sales this year

Mercedes-Benz India aims record car sales this year


NEW DELHI : Mercedes-Benz India is preparing to deliver a record number of vehicles this year on the back of a strong order book and multiple product launches, including three new electric vehicles over the next three months, a top company executive said.

India’s largest luxury carmaker is also looking to offer a wide range of luxury electric vehicles in the domestic market, along with an exclusive ultra-fast charging network, Santosh Iyer, the newly-appointed managing director and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz India said in an interview.

Iyer, who is currently the company’s vice president – sales and marketing, will become the first Indian to hold the top job at Mercedes-Benz India when he takes up his new role in January. He will succeed Martin Schwenk who will move on to head Mercedes-Benz in Thailand.

The German automaker expects to surpass 15,000 vehicles in annual sales in 2022 as it looks to fulfil customer deliveries for an order book of more than 6,000 vehicles. The company has already retailed more than 7,500 vehicles till June.

To be sure, the last time Mercedes-Benz India sold more than 15,000 cars in India in a year was in 2018, which was also its best year in the country so far. This year’s sales will mark a strong increase from the 11,242 vehicles sold in 2021, when economic activity was impacted by the second wave of the pandemic.

“We have more than 50% market share in the core segment of luxury cars, and we should be selling in excess of 15,000 cars this year. We are working towards this becoming the best-ever year for Mercedes-Benz here, the only challenge being the supply constraints which are still looming over us,” Iyer said.

He claimed that buyers of Mercedes-Benz cars are choosing the top-end models unlike its rivals who are mainly targeting the entry-level luxury car market comprising first-time buyers.

“So, our strategies are completely different; our customer bases are different. Our core luxury customer is in the 1 crore plus segment, which is 30% of our total sales now,” Iyer said in his first interview since his elevation.

Mercedes-Benz competes with BMW, Audi, and Jaguar Land Rover among luxury automakers in the Indian market.

As part of its product introduction plans, Mercedes-Benz has launched the performance variant of its flagship luxury saloon, EQS, in India, the AMG EQS 53 at a dealership price of 2.45 crore. This will be followed by the EQS sedan, which the carmaker will assemble at its manufacturing facility in Pune. The third model will be a seven-seater electric sport-utility vehicle EQB. The AMG EQS and the EQB will be imported as completely-built units and there are no plans to locally assemble these models in the near future, Iyer said.

India is, however, likely to be the first market, outside Germany, where the EQS sedan will be locally assembled.

The AMG EQS clocked double-digit bookings within the first 24 hours since its launch on 25 August. The car is sold out till the first quarter of 2023. However, for the locally-assembled EQS, Iyer expects annual sales in triple-digits.

Mercedes-Benz’s first electric car was the EQC in India, launched in 2020, and the company claims that it is the single largest selling luxury model in the country.

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