By:- Iswar Dey
Mercedes Benz India, a wholly owned subsidiary of its German based parent company Daimler AG, outnumbered its competitors BMW and Audi in the sale of luxury cars in the year 2017, thus topping the luxury car list for the times in a row. It enjoyed a 15.86% increase in the sale of cars which increased from 13,231 in 2016 to a record sale of 15,330 cars in 2017 on the back of new products and customer focussed approach.
In 2017, BMW Group reported sales of 9,800 units as against 7,861 units in the previous year. Audi had made sales of 7,876 units as against 7,720 units last year. Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover’s sales in India stood at 3,954 units as against 2,653 units in 2016, an increase of 49%.
Mercedes Benz India MD and CEO Roland Folger said, “Last year was one of the most challenging years for Mercedes and also a year of missed opportunities. In spite of that we could sell 15,330 units.”
“The decision to introduce long wheelbase E-Class was strategic and highly successful. We are in particular very satisfied with the strong growth in volumes in the C-Class, E-Class and the SUV segment which remains the mainstay of our portfolio,” he said.
He also mentioned that the tax structure changes post GST had a major impact on the sale. GST rate was fixed at 28% and for large cars and SUVs at 15%, which was increased by 5% and 7% respectively in September. This hike saw a reduction of sale.
Showing confidence on the capacity of Indian market, Roland said that 2018 would be a great year for them provided policies remain constant. The company is going to launch Mercedes-Maybach S650 in the next Auto Expo. It will also bring new products into India, many of which, without a predecessor.