Mercedes-Benz expects India to be its fastest growing market this year as well

German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz expects India to be its fastest growing market in the world, maintaining the feat it also achieved last year, a senior official says of the company.

Mercedes-Benz India, which had planned to launch ten new products this year, is delaying some of the launches, pushing them to the second and third quarters of 2023 (calendar year) due to supply chain constraints in a bid to avoid d further increase the waiting period of its products.

“I still see India shining among all the other countries. When we see our global reports, the growth is still there in India even in the first two months of the year. (It’s) too early to talk about the whole year, but if I have to go by the results of the first two months, they are quite solid and positive compared to many other markets around the world,” said Santosh Iyer, Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz. India, at PTI.

He was responding to a question about India’s ability to continue to be the company’s fastest growing market globally.

Mercedes-Benz India recorded 41% growth with record sales in 2022 at 15,822 units compared to 11,242 units sold in 2021. Its previous best sales were in 2018 at 15,583 units.

Iyer admitted that from a volume perspective, other advanced markets like the United States, which also emerged from the impact of Covid-19, are much higher than India and even normal growth there. low means a significant amount of volumes.

“But as a percentage, India continues to show strong growth momentum, even compared to many Asian markets in our region as well,” he added.

Regarding the domestic demand momentum, Iyer said, “It’s quite strong for many car lines and we still have an order bank exceeding 4,000 cars.” The company has decided to delay some of the planned launches due to supply chain constraints, he added.

“What we are doing is increasing production. Therefore, we are not introducing new cars this quarter. Of the ten cars we have planned for this year, in the first quarter we have only done the E Cabriolet and now we are pushing other cars into quarter two and quarter three so we can supply more cars,” added Iyer.

He added: “Long waiting periods can also lead to cancellations. Therefore, our main objective is to have a very good first quarter with the maximum number of cars delivered to the market.”

On market sentiment, he said, “Leads are up 15% over last year, but order conversions are taking a bit longer. The waiting period is also delaying customers, who have to wait six to nine months. That we want to bring down to a realistic level of two to three months on average.”

The company had launched its “AMG E53 4MATIC+ Cabriolet” model priced at Rs 1.3 crore in January this year and said that of the ten new launches planned for this year, the majority will be in the price category above Rs 1 crore.

Additionally, Iyer said the company also maintains its single-digit growth target in India this year, but whether high or low double-digits would depend on external factors such as interest rates and market constraints. supply chain.

“The topic of semiconductors is behind us to a large extent, but in our case, car trim parts, interior parts are still a challenge,” he said.


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