Mercedes retains first place in the luxury segment; invest 400 crore in new products, localization

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Mercedes-Benz has seen demand for SUVs drive growth. Newly launched vehicles such as the GLE and GL are in a waiting period.

Mercedes-Benz India has become the number one luxury car brand in the country for the sixth time in a row. Mercedes held the pole position despite a 42.7% year-on-year decline in annual sales to 7,893 units in 2020. The luxury automaker’s fourth quarter sales rose 40% sequentially to 2,886 units and were the best quarter for the company in 2020. Sales in The first quarter was at 2,386 units, but fell in the second quarter to 563 units and began to recover in the third quarter, with the company selling 2,058 units.

Martin Schwenk, MD, Mercedes-Benz India, said fourth quarter 2020 performance was not just about pent-up demand or festival sales, but indicated substantial improvement and sales momentum will continue into 2021.

BMW Group India follows second in the luxury segment, with sales of 6,604 units in 2020. This includes sales of 512 MINIs in India. About 50% of BMW’s sales came from locally produced sports activity vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz has seen demand for SUVs drive growth. Newly launched vehicles such as the GLE and GL are in a waiting period. The EQC electric car allocated to India was sold and the initial AMG GLE 53 allocation was also sold. Likewise, the AMG 43 “Made in India” coupes are also in the waiting period.

Schwenk said the company will experience 40% CAGR growth over the next two years thanks to new launches and product localization. The company is investing 400 crore for local manufacturing.

Mercedes-Benz would launch 15 new products in 2021 starting in the second quarter of the year with new products and some of them will be given a makeover and that will be the highest number of launches ever made in a year by the company and the impact of this would be visible in 2022, said Schwenk. The company would redefine products, redesign touchpoints and recreate the digital experience while reimagining the business in 2021, he said.

In 2020, the company sold 1,250 cars online, with online sales now accounting for 15% of total new car sales. Since its launch in April 2020, the company has sold 900 new cars and 350 used cars sold online. But the retail network will be the primary driver of sales, and online sales would complement the retail footprint, Schwenk said.

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