Mercedes-Benz India aims for record car sales this year

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

India’s largest luxury automaker is also looking to bring a wide range of luxury electric vehicles to the domestic market, as well as an exclusive super-fast charging network, said Santosh Iyer, the new managing director and managing director of Mercedes-Benz India. a meeting.

Iyer, who is currently the company’s vice president of sales and marketing, will become the first Indian to hold the senior position at Mercedes-Benz India when he takes up his new role in January. He will succeed Martin Schwenk who will take over as head of Mercedes-Benz in Thailand.

The German automaker expects to exceed 15,000 vehicles in annual sales in 2022 as it seeks to meet customer deliveries for an order book of more than 6,000 vehicles. The company has already sold over 7,500 vehicles through June.

Admittedly, 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. Sales this year will mark a sharp 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 luxury car segment, and we expect to sell more than 15,000 cars this year. We are working to make this the best year ever for Mercedes-Benz here, with the only challenge being the supply constraints that are still hanging over us,” Iyer said.

He claimed that Mercedes-Benz car buyers choose the higher end models unlike its rivals who mainly target the entry-level luxury car market comprising first-time buyers.

“So our strategies are completely different; our customers are different. Our main luxury customer is in the 1 crore plus the segment, or 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 the luxury automakers in the Indian market.

As part of its product introduction plans, Mercedes-Benz has launched the performance variant of its flagship luxury sedan, EQS, in India, the AMG EQS 53 at a concession price of 2.45 crores. It will be followed by the EQS sedan, which the automaker will assemble at its manufacturing plant in Pune. The third model will be an EQB seven-seat electric sport utility vehicle. The AMG EQS and EQB will be imported as fully 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, apart from Germany, where the EQS sedan will be assembled locally.

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

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

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