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mercedes benz: Mercedes Benz expects to report best-ever sales in India on the back of new GLC launch

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German luxury carmaker Mercedes Benz said it is looking at clocking its best-ever sales in the country in the ongoing calendar year with the launch of the all new SUV GLC at the heart of the luxury vehicle market.

The company, which grew volumes by 13% to 8,528 units in the first six months of the year, expects to expand sales in its core segment with this new model. Mercedes-Benz India managing director Santosh Iyer told ET, “We have seen strong growth in the first half. As much as 60% of our sales come in from the core segment. Now with the launch of the GLC we expect this share to increase further in the coming months.”

Iyer was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of GLC priced upwards of Rs 73.5 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The company received 1,500 bookings for the vehicles in the last two weeks. The company sells five key models – the GLB, GLE, C-Class, E-Class, and S-Class in the core luxury segment priced between Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

Iyer said the company has managed to buck the trend in the luxury vehicle market in India (where manufacturers register a bulk of their sales from the entry segment) by increasing volumes of top end vehicles (Rs 1 crore plus) on a fast clip. “The entry segment comprise 15% of our sales, the core 60% and top end vehicles the remaining 25%. We have seen exponential growth in the top end segment so far. While this rate may now come down, on a strong base, the demand will still be robust.”
The company already has pending orders for 3,500-4000 vehicles. With consumer interest remaining strong as the country heads into the festive season, Iyer said the company is on-track to clock its highest-ever sales in 2023. “We expect the momentum to continue and report double-digit growth in sales in the ongoing calendar year. 2023 should be our best-ever year so far”, he informed. Prior to this, the company reported record sales of 15,822 units in CY2022. According to industry estimates, about 20,000 luxury vehicles were sold between January and June 2023. Mercedes Benz India dominated this market with a share of about 50%, followed by compatriot BMW. Iyer said macro-economic fundamentals remains strong in the local market. That, coupled with strong corporate earnings, is giving boost to sales of luxury vehicles in the country at a time when much of the West is beset with recessionary risks. To sustain the excitement further in the festive season, the company scheduled for launch four more products in the rest of year. Overall, Mercedes Benz will launch a total of 10 models in 2023.

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