“Overall yes, another record year for us. We still have two months to go but at this stage from a demand perspective (it is) strong. From the supply side, we have to improve from here on and with that we should end the year on a high note,” Iyer told PTI in an interview on the sidelines of the launch here.
He was responding to a query on whether the company is set for another record sales in 2023 after witnessing a new high in 2022 when it clocked 15,822 units.
In the January-September 2023 period, the company delivered 12,768 units at a growth of 11 per cent over the same period last year.
“We have seen growth in order intake for us but we’re going through a different challenge in terms of production and supplies. We still have a major issue with our 48-volt battery supplies and most of our cars are mild hybrids and because of that, we are still facing these challenges,” Iyer said.
He further said, “Therefore, we are not able to deliver the entire bookings that we have, and hopefully the situation improves in the next couple of months.” When asked if Mercedes-Benz India could continue with the growth momentum through next year, Iyer said, “From a macroeconomic view, we are completely positive that the growth story should continue.” However, he said, “The uncertainty over the supply chain has really made pause a bit right now. We have to get out of the current challenge in terms of manufacturing and producing more cars currently before we have a firm outlook for 2024.”
The company has an order backlog of over 3,000 cars, Iyer added.
On the expected number of product launches for 2024, he said it is a bit premature to comment considering the current challenge.
“Even today when we are launching the three variants of the GLE, the delivery of the GLE 450D we are starting only from January next year whereas the other two variants we are able to start now but with limited outlook,” Iyer noted.
On the sales of electric vehicles, Iyer said, “Electric continues to be 4 per cent to 5 per cent of our sales.”
Although the company has been an early adopter of electrification, he said, adding that customers still have to be convinced with an effort.
Nevertheless, Iyer said, “For us in the next three to four years, we see that 25 per cent of our sales should come from EVs and that will only happen when there is more product offering.”
Although the company has not set a definite number of EV models to be launched in India during the time period, Iyer said, “Mercedes-Benz has globally said that we will be ready for 100 per cent of our portfolio wherever markets allow…it is market to market-based, on how the market evolves and consumer psychology is evolving.”