As Q1 of 2019 ends, Mercedes Benz India reports sales for the period at 3,885 units. The numbers though fade in comparison to the company’s best ever Q1 sales that were reported in 2018 at 4,556 units. Sales decline for January-March stands at 14.72 percent. Despite the slowdown, Mercedes-Benz India ‘maintains its market leadership’.
For the same period, BMW India reports 19 percent growth at 2,822 cars sold up fro 2,377 units sold in Q1 2018. Mini reports 18 percent growth at 160 cars sold, up from 136 cars sold in Q1 2018. Total car sales (BMW + Mini) through Q1 2018 stand at 2982 units, up from 2513 units. While the sales slowdown continues, the first three months has certainly given BMW India something to cheer about, though it does trail behind Mercedes-Benz India by almost a 1,000 units in sales.
Mercedes-Benz India cites strong macro-economic headwinds for its Q1 slowdown. This is attributed to rising interest rates, inflationary hikes, liquidity crunch, rising import costs, etc.
Through Q1 2019, the Long Wheelbase E-Class Saloon continues to be a volume driver, alongwith the C class. New GLE and GLC SUV too play their part. V-Class, a considerably recent launch has been met with success, and the Luxury MPV commands a waiting period in most markets owing to ‘high demand’. For the period, Mercedes states its AMG and the Dream Cars segment remained the highest growing segment with more than 50 percent growth over Q1 2018.
For the brand, this is its 25th year in India. Just last month, the company launched its AMG C 43 4MATIC coupe. For H2 2019, Mercedes-Benz India has planned product introductions, customer oriented initiatives, market expansion and digitization efforts.
Martin Schwenk, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented, “We are satisfied with our sustained sales performance despite facing strong macro- economic headwinds. Mercedes-Benz however is excited to retain its customers’ loyalty and sustain the market leadership. Also as a fundamentally strong brand, we remain bullish on the mid to long term prospect of the dynamic Indian market, which we believe has immense potential to grow.”
He adds, “We will continue to invest in new products and technologies, in retail network and digitization, to keep ourselves future ready for the foreseeable transition in the automotive segment.”