In a remarkable feat, Mercedes-Benz India, the country’s largest luxury carmaker, has achieved its best-ever annual sales in 2022. The Pune-based company reported an impressive calendar year sales figure of 15,822 units, marking a significant 41% year-on-year growth compared to 2021, where the sales stood at 11,242 units.
Sustaining Momentum Amidst Challenges
Mercedes-Benz India showcased its potential for a record-breaking year halfway through 2022, having sold 7,573 units with a robust 56% year-on-year growth from January to June 2021. This achievement was bolstered by new product launches, local assembly of flagship models like the EQS, sustained demand for existing products and services, and the implementation of the innovative ‘Retail of the Future’ strategy.
Challenges and Forward Outlook
Despite facing headwinds such as the pandemic and global supply constraints, the company remains optimistic about its future prospects. However, Santosh Iyer, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz India, acknowledged challenges like the fluctuating exchange rates and potential price hikes due to the rupee’s slide against the Euro. Nevertheless, he expressed confidence in double-digit growth for the calendar year 2023, backed by a robust 6,000-unit order book at the beginning of the year.
Market Leadership for Eight Consecutive Years
Mercedes-Benz India has maintained its stronghold as the market leader in the luxury car segment in India for eight consecutive years. Over the past decade, the German automaker has witnessed substantial market share growth, increasing from 38% in CY2013 to an estimated 45% in CY2022. The company has surpassed the 125,000-unit milestone in the Indian market during this period.
Best-Selling Models and Customer Trends
The Long Wheelbase (LWB) E-Class sedan continues to be Mercedes-Benz India’s highest-selling model, followed by the popular GLC SUV. Notably, the company has observed a shift in customer demographics, with a younger audience and increased female buyers choosing the Mercedes-Benz brand.
Strategic Initiatives for CY2023
Mercedes-Benz India unveiled a six-pronged strategy for CY2023, aiming for profitable growth and an expanded customer base in the super-luxury segment. The company is set to launch 10 new models in 2023, with a focus on electric vehicles (EVs). Additionally, leveraging digital technology will play a crucial role in enhancing the customer journey through the ‘Retail of the Future’ model.
Investment in People and Experience
In a bid to elevate customer experiences, Mercedes-Benz India is investing in people and manpower upskilling. Collaborating with IIM Ahmedabad, the company has introduced a one-year executive program for auto retailing in the luxury car space. This initiative aims to professionalize auto retailing in India and enhance the skills of franchise partners’ leadership teams.
Riding the Wave of Luxury Car Market Uptick
Mirroring the global trend, the luxury passenger vehicle market in India is experiencing a strong rebound in demand. The luxury car segment’s upward trajectory is attributed to the overall economic revival and increased disposable income at the top end. Mercedes-Benz India’s success aligns with the positive trend in the luxury car market, reflecting the brand’s strategic initiatives and customer-centric approach.