Leading Indian luxury car makers to miss yearly sales target

Declining car sales in India have affected every car manufacturer, be it a small car maker or a luxury car maker. India’s luxury car market is ruled by the German trio of Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi. Though all three have successfully continued to post impressive sales figures, two of them might not be able to meet their yearly targets this time due to dwindling world economy and slowdown in the industry.

In 2010, Mercedes Benz and BMW sold 5,819 and 6,246 units respectively in India. Seeing the industry grow at a rapid pace, both companies started the year with a sales target of 10,000. But due to increase in fuel prices and interest rates, auto industry is suffering.

In the first nine months of 2011, Mercedes and BMW sold 5,635 units and 7,150 units respectively. Talking about decline in sales, on the condition of anonymity, Mercedes India official stated, “The current slowdown did not impact us initially, but we started feeling the heat by the middle of the year.”

On the other hand, Dr Andreas Schaaf, President, BMW India, stated, “We are still keeping 10,000 as a target but it looks like a daunting task now. November and December are not great months when it comes to sales of cars.”

Seeing decline in sales, one of the BMW dealer is currently offering discount of Rs 2 lacs. BMW dealer on the condition of anonymity said, “There is an inventory build up and that has increased the working capital for us. There are customers who have cancelled their bookings. We are not left with options.” Mercedes Benz dealers are luring buyers by offering 0% interest schemes on their C and E Class sedans.

Audi India is happy as they had set themselves a target of selling 5,000 units this year. Mr Michael Perschke, Head, Audi India said, “This year is shaping into, what we believe will be, Audi’s most successful year in India to date. I am confident that we are well on our way to exceeding our sales targets of 5,000 cars this year.”