Mercedes-Benz India has clocked a 13% YoY growth in sales in H1CY23 to 8,528 units as against 7,573 units sold in the same time last year. In addition to the best-ever H1 results, the company set a new benchmark in its Q2 sales, selling 3,831 units, representing an 8% YoY jump.
The German carmaker noted that the demand for high-end Mercedes-Benz and AMG models belonging to the TEV segment continued to outpace other segments, growing at 53% YoY in H1CY23 with the LWB E-Class remaining the best seller for the brand. GLE, on the other hand, became the bestselling SUV model, followed by the GLA SUV in H1 2023.
Notably, the order book for the company currently stands at 3,500 without the GLC, which is slated to be introduced in Q3CY23.
Meanwhile, the company’s BEV portfolio grew ten folds during the period with the introduction of the EQB and EQS luxury BEVs.
In January 2023, the company announced its theme for this year, ‘Desire For Extraordinaire.' As a part of this, it has pointed out key areas to propel its growth story for 2023.
The strategic pillars include:
Think, Act Like A Luxury Brand
As a part of this, the brand plans to introduce several international and local customer engagement programmes, such as track days. Besides, it plans to introduce several financing options under the Mercedes-Benz financing are also in the pipelines.
The company introduced 'Mercedes Me' a few months ago for customers to buy subscription packages. It plans to add more subscription-based features, such as an entertainment package, rear axle steering package, and adaptive high beam assist, among others, under the On-Demand package starting at INR 1,599.
The Renewal Package, which includes a small package for personalisation, a navigation package, and an excellent package, has been priced starting at INR 7,999. Additionally, with the ROFT, the company is adding PIN-code-based and upfront pricing, direct business bookings, market configurable feature display and stock availability display, given increasing online adoption.
Expand Customer Base
Santosh Iyer, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, noted that the company is witnessing an increasing adoption of Mercedes-Benz vehicles by young-age customers. He noted that the average age of an S-Class customer has come down to 38 years, while for the C-Class, it reached 35 years. Besides, the company is also witnessing an increase in demand for top end luxury market, which has risen to 22% in 2022 from 12% in 2018 for the car maker. Because of this, the brand aims to launch ten products in 2023.
Meanwhile, there also is an increase in demand for pre-owned Mercedes vehicles. For this, the brand plans to roll out Online Trade-in module on its website. Furthermore, an AI-based ‘i-evaluation app’ is also in the pipeline, allowing dealerships to precisely evaluate the price of the vehicle being sold to them.
Electric Drive, Sustainability:
Mercedes-Benz India launched three EVs in 2022, bringing the total EV portfolio to four in India. Iyer noted that although the demand for EVs has not surpassed the ICE counterparts, the demand for EVs is still quite high, with a waiting period of over four years for each model. The company has set up 35 ultra-fast chargers to support these customers nationwide.
In terms of operations, the company claims to be using 100% green energy at its Chakan plant while hosting over 300 species of flora and 75 species of fauna. Taking forward this sustainability achievement, it plans to have 1/3 of its franchise partners operate on 100% green energy by 2023 and 100% percent by 2025.
As the brand sees new opportunities in India, it plans to train and offer its employees and partners knowledge of the market and new technologies. For this, the Greman luxury brand has IIM Ahmedabad to train its franchise partner in the evolving luxury car market. Meanwhile, courses through LinkedIn learning are also offered to employees on Industry 5.0, EV readiness and data science.