Mercedes Benz may have lost prime position in the Indian luxury segment to BMW three years ago. The past year has not been that memorable either. Mercedes Benz has slipped one notch lower as Audi toppled Mercedes Benz from No 2 spot in India. This widening gap is what has made Mercedes Benz sit up and take stock of their position in the country while striving to take some drastic action to try and revive their place in the luxury segment.
The economic slowdown seems to have returned to haunt the automobile sector while it has punctured the very growth of the luxury segment in India. Escalating petrol prices and sluggish markets have all had an impact on sales within the country in the past year.
A recent study conducted by Kotak Wealth Management and Crisil states that Mercedes Bens has a 12.5% demand in the market while BMW has an 18% demand and Audi has a 14.8% demand.
Mercedes is targeting the age group 46 to 60 while younger buyers are showing more affinity for BMWs and Audis. To target this segment, Mercedes Benz is going to launch the B Class Sports Tourer so as to compete with Audi Q3 and BMW X1, both where price and performance are concerned. Early next year, Mercedes Benz is also planning launch of A Class which will be a small Mercedes car but will be the most expensive compact car in India.
Mercedes Benz is exploring markets beyond the four major metros. The company has planned road shows in smaller cities in India in the hope of garnering more attention. If demand is felt, the company will be expanding their dealership base and will be installing new sales outlets in Tier II ciries. New showrooms have already come up in cities like Bhopal, Ludhiana, Surat, Indore, Nagpur and Coimbatore while a few more will be added in the coming months. Mercedes Benz hopes to regain No 1 spot in the luxury car segment by 2020.