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Mercedes-Benz looks to sustain double-digit growth
Posted on 6th March 2018
MUMBAI: Mercedes-Benz, the top luxury-car brand in India, expects to sustain double-digit growth in 2018, provided there aren’t any more policy disruptions during the year to add to the budget proposal to increase the duty on imported kits and components.

To build on the momentum from 2017, when its India sales rose 16% to 15,330 units, Mercedes-Benz will be launching 10 products this year.

“We have a certain plan in place. If we don’t see many interruptions, then we would like to achieve a similar kind of growth seen last year, which will help us retain our No. 1position,” India managing director Roland Folger told ET.

In 2017, the overall luxury-car market, too, grew in double digits to an all-time high of about 40,000 units, after a fall in sales the previous year.

Folger said the numbers were misleading. The 2017 sales might look very good, but that growth was on the back of 2016 “which was a deplorably bad year”, he said. “It is not as if we should pat our back (for the 2017 performance) and say ‘good job done’. It was just catching up on what we had lost out in 2016.”

Now a natural recovery is expected and there is pent-up demand, he said.

Mercedes-Benz has now got down to monthly planning, instead of making quarterly, halfyearly or annual plans as seen in the past.

The Indian luxury-car market has been hit badly by several factors in recent years, from a ban on large diesel vehicles in New Delhi to demonetisation, chopping and changing of GST rates and the recent hike in the duty of completely knocked down kits that companies like Mercedes-Benz import.

Mercedes-Benz will continue to ensure that its product portfolio remains robust, with constant refreshes, facelifts and addition of new models despite the higher duty on CKD units, Folger said.

Mercedes-Benz will continue to ensure that its product portfolio remains robust, with constant refreshes, facelifts and addition of new models despite the higher duty on CKD units, Folger said.

“We are going by about 10 new models that we will be bringing this year. It not only drives volume per say, it also helps us stay in contact with the customers,” he said.

This year, the company has already launched the new Maybach and the S Class. It will now be adding an all-terrain vehicle from the E Class range during the course of the year, as well as a few more AMG models and the new C Class by the end of the year.

Related Companies: Mercedes Benz India Limited   

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