Mercedes Benz India has posted sales of 2,386 units, a decline of 38.58% for Q1 2020
Mercedes-Benz India, arguably the country’s favourite luxury car manufacturer, has recorded a sales of 2,386 units in the period, January-March 2020. While this is much lower than last year, the German brand achieved the figure amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In January-March 2019, Mercedes-Benz India hit 3,885 units.
The last time Mercedes India posted Q1 sales lower than that posted in 2020, was back in 2013, when the company posted sales of 2,009 units. Below is Q1 sales comparison of Mercedes Benz India, over the last 8 years.
Mercedes Benz India Q1 2020 – 2013 Sales
Like all major businesses across the world, India’s automotive industry has been badly affected by the government’s COVID-19 lockdown protocols. Several OEMs have either shut down their plants completely or are working with limited resources. On the other hand, small-scale automotive dealerships are on the verge of being closed forever. A few automakers have stepped forward to support their struggling dealer partners.
The lockdown measures were implemented around the same time when dealerships were struggling to clear their remaining BS4 stock ahead of 1 April 2020. This deadline was recently extended by the Supreme Court of India but on a conditional basis. Under this, dealerships with unsold BS4 units were allowed to sell just 10% of the vehicles for 10 days post the lockdown (which currently extends to May 3). In other words, the automotive industry is not receiving enough support from the authorities in concern.
As of now, dealerships with unsold BS4 stock are left with three options: (1) register and sell them as used vehicles, (2) consult the brand for a buyback policy, or (3) send them for scrappage (following proper guidelines). Data shows that BS4 vehicles (all categories combined) worth Rs 6,400 crore remain unsold in the country.
Ahead of the initial deadline, quite a few manufacturers had completely upgraded their product portfolios to BS6 specifications. In fact, Mercedes-Benz India was the very first automaker in the country to launch a BS6-compliant vehicle — W222 S 350d (February 2018). The company had shifted all its products to BS6 models by December 2019 itself.
However, due to the rapid shift to stringent emission standards, models such as the CLA, GLA and GLS will be unavailable for a brief period. The all-new GLE 300d will have a waiting period of three months. Mercedes-Benz India is focusing more on digital platforms too for sales and related services.
The German marque’s manufacturing facility in Chakan, Pune has been closed since 21 March. In the meantime, the company has joined the fight against COVID-19 by helping set up a temporary hospital in Chakan. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz India is donating ventilators to the medical department while also supporting BPL families.