Mercedes Benz India on track for double-digit growth, says Santosh Iyer | Autocar Professional

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Mercedes Benz India on track for double-digit growth, says Santosh Iyer | Autocar Professional


Mercedes-Benz India is confident of ending the year with record sales and double-digit growth, despite the slowdown in the mainstream market. The company expects the strong momentum to continue with one new product lined up almost every month.

Santosh Iyer, MD of Mercedes Benz India, told Autocar Professional that the company has had “an excellent first half,” and is on track for double-digit growth.

“We have had a great H1 and feel they should continue in H2. Q2 was a bit slower, but it was as expected because we had elections. Generally, the season has been low, so it’s not a surprise. But the good news here is that the inquiry levels have not dropped. There is still a lot of interest. Customers in our segment are travelling; once they are back, along with the wedding and festive season, we should see this demand going in,” added Iyer.

The company is also in a very peculiar situation with its best-selling car, the E Class, in a run-out phase, and the new gen comes in only in the later part of the year, which may affect volumes. Yet, Iyer is confident it will grow at a healthy pace.

The head of Mercedes Benz India says his most significant benchmark is GST collections, which indicates that consumption is growing. GDP is growing, and that will ensure the luxury car market sustains the growth momentum.

“The GST collections are growing monthly, and many transactions are happening in the economy. And there is growth there. So, suddenly, there is no change in macroeconomic factors that we have to bother about. We have continuity in the government as well. So, in that sense, we expect the growth to continue,” assured Iyer.

The company has committed to 12 new launches in 2024; six have already been launched, and one new product will be launched monthly to sustain excitement and drive demand.

“Six ( product launches) have happened in the first half; six will happen in the second half. Three of them are EVs, and one is a volume product,”  Iyer noted. 

Much like the mainstream car market, the entry-level luxury segment witnessed a softening in demand from April to June in the second quarter of 2024, leading to discounts in the marketplace. Iyer agrees that the discounts are there but says Mercedes Benz won’t participate in them.

“We won’t participate (in discounts) for sure. But I think it’s also more of a seasonal impact, coupled with elections and other issues. But when I talk about my core or top-end segment, we see fantastic growth even in quarter 2,” he said.

Also read: Mercedes banks on youth to accelerate EV shift with new EQA

 

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