German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz on Thursday reported a 65 percent growth in its retail sales in India to 4,857 units in the first half (H1) of 2021, driven by new launches and strong demand for top-end cars.
The company had sold 2,948 units in the first half of 2020. In the first half of last year and this year, sales were suspended due to restrictions aimed at containing the first and second waves of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our sales growth in the first half of 2021 is in line with market sentiment and underlines continued high customer demand for models. We have built up a solid order backlog with the new startups and it is very satisfactory to see an all-round increase in demand for our products across the entire portfolio, “said Martin Schwenk, Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India.
The company’s new launches in the first half of this year include the A-Class Sedan, New E-Class, AMG A 35 4M, New GLA, AMG GLA 35 4M, GLS Maybach 600, and New S-Class.
“Starting with the A-Class sedan and ending with the GLS Maybach and ending with the AMG, customers greatly appreciated our product launches by strongly preferring a Mercedes-Benz and an AMG to other models and reaffirming their trust in our product portfolio and our customer-oriented market have strategy, “he added.
The company also said in H1 that it has strong demand for top-end cars like the GLS Maybach 600, the new S-Class and the AMG range.
Mercedes-Benz India said its online sales continue to be a strong contributor to total sales, which account for 20 percent of sales in the first half of 2021, despite being 35 percent during the April-May lockdown.
Online sales alone generated over 25,000 leads in the reporting period.
Regarding the market situation, Mercedes-Benz India said that the retail sales in June 2021 in particular “are the first signs of a strong recovery in customer sentiment, which will be influenced by factors such as the new product portfolio and the gradual development of markets that will lead to a revival of economic activity” .
“The demand for all of our products was particularly strong in June. We ramped up our production and sales from July in order to do justice to the great customer feedback on our models, ”said Schwenk.
On the outlook, Santosh Iyer, Vice President Sales and Marketing of Mercedes-Benz India, told PTI: “At this point in time, we don’t see any disappointment, at least on the demand side, as we go into this quarter … H2 (second half) certainly should be greater than H1. “
The festive season, which begins August through September, “should only accentuate demand” and “that gives us confidence that demand will be robust in H2,” he added.
The biggest problem is global delivery bottlenecks and logistical challenges that could affect the company’s ability to meet demand in India.
“If you are talking purely on the demand side based on the order bank and the bookings … it gives us a very strong confidence, the demand is there, but we have to check whether the deliveries can keep up for H2,” said Iyer.
As of this month, production has been gradually ramped up and designed flexibly in order to be able to react to current developments, the company announced. Previously, it was producing at 50 percent capacity at its Chakan facility, following government guidelines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
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