Friday, Jul 01, 2022

Mercedes-Benz Expects Double-Digit Sales Growth In India In 2022

The luxury carmaker retailed 11,242 units in 2021, a growth of 42.5 per cent over 7,893 units in 2020.

Mercedes-Benz India on Wednesday said it expects to log in double-digit sales growth this year as compared with 2021 as it plans to roll out 10 new products in the market during the period.

The luxury carmaker retailed 11,242 units in 2021, a growth of 42.5 per cent over 7,893 units in 2020.

The Pune-based company noted that its order list already stands at over 3,000 units and it is now geared up to drive in 10 products, including the locally-produced all-electric luxury sedan EQS in the fourth quarter of this year.

The carmaker has also lined up S-Class Maybach for launch in March.

"We expect that the strong growth we had in 2021 will continue. We will aim for double-digit growth in the next two years and specifically in 2022, I expect strong double-digit growth," Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director and CEO Martin Schwenk told reporters in an online press conference.

He noted that 2022 will be another milestone year for the company as it aims to lead the luxury EV segment by expanding its EV portfolio with the debut of its all-electric luxury sedan EQS.

"After pioneering the localisation of performance vehicles in India with the AMGs, we have decided to start the local production of the EQS, a step in the right direction for us towards mainstreaming luxury EVs.

"We are confident the start of local production of the EQS will be pivotal in driving the penetration of luxury EVs in the market and reiterates our ambition to lead the luxury EV segment in the country firmly," he stated.

He added that the company plans to drive in new products, some even without a predecessor, across the Maybach, AMG and EQ brands in 2022.

Schwenk said the company is also looking to expand the AMG performance centres across major cities in the country.

Besides, the automaker plans to modernise its retail outlets across major cities in the current year. The company currently has a presence across 50 cities with 95 sales outlets.  

Schwenk said the firm aims to sell about 1,300 pre-owned units this year as compared to 1,200 units in 2021.

He noted that over the last two years, the company has invested around Rs 400 crore on plant and other related activities, taking the total investment at its Chakan-based facility to Rs 2,600 crore.

"We have all the capability for the products we are bringing...We don't plan any additional capacity increase also, that is not required based on our current setup," Schwent noted.

On the semiconductor shortage, he said the situation is going to remain tough for "many months" this year as well.

"It will take several more months for the situation to improve and I think the stability of the supply chain will also take a significant amount of time this year to get really stable again," Schwenk noted.

Asked about the luxury car segment in the country which has remained at the same level for the last many years, he said high product prices remain an impediment to its growth.

"Now what really, really hurts us is the high price structure which we have in the country. It is about taxation, road taxes and other elements of it. So I think that is probably the biggest single hurdle for broader adoption (of luxury vehicles)," Schwenk emphasised.

When asked about his views on the overall economic and business growth amid the third wave of COVID-19, he noted: "We should be confident that with the experiences gained in 2021 and the year before to deal with the pandemic, we have seen that businesses are well set up to weather the storm."

He further said: "We have also seen that government activities are a little bit more measured...I would hope if that is the case, the customer sentiment will remain strong, and that we will be able to mitigate the impacts of this current wave."

Schwenk noted that the new A-Class Limousine, E-Class LWB, and S-Class luxury sedans and the New GLA, GLC, GLE and GLS SUVs were the key volume drivers for the company in 2021.