Mercedes-Benz India has reported 2009 unit sales for the period January – March (Q1) 2013. Vehicles sold translate to 5.3% sales growth for the quarter. In 2012, 1908 vehicles were sold by MB India for the period January – March. Sales Volumes reported indicate Retail sales figures (cars sold by dealers to Mercedes-Benz customers in India.)
The E-Class sedan is the chosen favorite for the period having single handedly accounted for 800+ units sold for January – March 2013. sales volume equates to 25% growth over the same period in 2012. In reference to their Completely Built Units (imported cars), the Mercedes-Benz Dream Cars segment comprising of the AMG range, the SLK-Class and the CLS-Class, sales growth has been registered at 48%. This is the highest segment growth rate for Mercedes Benz India when compared to Q1 2012. Last month, MB India announced their price hike which is effective from 1st April 2013. The German automaker’s immediate price hike stands at a range of 1-4% for locally produced vehicles, and upto 20% for select CBUs.
2013-14 Union Budget announcements saw import duty being raised to 100% from 75% for CBU’s that came for a price exceeding Rs 22 lakhs. Other luxury carmakers in India ( Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Volvo) will be faced with a similar predicament. While the stark import duty increase has prompted pre-buying and flurried booking, the following quarter will not find any such boost, and that’s a tell tale sign of what to expect in this segment. The upside to this forced Union Budget taxation is the expectation of a boost on local production here in India, which would see more automaker’s operating in India increase local production investments over time. The inevitable price hike from today has done enough to boost luxury segment sales for concerned carmakers. As per SIAM’s report, in February 2013 passenger car sales decline was reported at almost 26% over the same period last year. Last month, during the company’s mbconnect session, Mr Eberhard Kern did reveal that sales figures for January and February 2013 had seen an increase as compared to respective figures registered during Jan-Feb 2012.
Eberhard Kern, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “We are very satisfied with the company performance in this quarter. Given the overall strain in the Indian economy and the fact that the Passenger Vehicles market has de-grown by double digits in Jan-Feb 2013, an incremental 5.3% performance enhancement is encouraging.There are several exciting product launches slated in the next months and riding the wave of these fascinating products, we envisage a double-digit growth in the next quarter.”
In another development last week, Mercedes-Benz India director for marketing & sales Debashis Mitra left his post at the company. Having worked with the company these 5 years, his resignation came in on 26th March, 2013. A Mercedes Benz India spokesperson said, “Mr. Debashis Mitra has decided to move on in his professional career pursuit. He has accordingly resigned from Mercedes-Benz India. We are in the process of deciding the succession plan.”