Automobile sector continues to be in the red but luxury car segment picking up; Mercedes delivers over 600 cars during Dhanteras

Mercedes-Benz' stellar sales performance comes after it had delivered more than 200 cars on Dussehra and Navratri in Mumbai and Gujarat

FP Staff October 28, 2019 07:40:39 IST
Automobile sector continues to be in the red but luxury car segment picking up; Mercedes delivers over 600 cars during Dhanteras
  • Mercedes-Benz' stellar sales performance comes after it had delivered more than 200 cars on Dussehra and Navratri in Mumbai and Gujarat

  • The luxury car maker handed more than 250 cars to customers on Dhanteras in Delhi-NCR alone

  • In 2019, the luxury car segment did worse than the rest of the country which is unusual in India as it typically outperforms the market

A slowdown has impacted India's automobile sector but demand for luxury cars are improving slowly but steadily.

Luxury automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz India on Saturday said that it has delivered more than 600 cars during Dhanteras across markets.

The company’s stellar sales performance comes after it had delivered more than 200 cars on Dussehra and Navratri in Mumbai and Gujarat, according to an IANS report.

Further, Mercedes-Benz India handed more than 250 cars to customers on Dhanteras in Delhi-NCR alone.

Taking the Delhi-NCR delivery into account, Mercedes-Benz has delivered more than 600 vehicles to customers in the key markets of Mumbai, Pune, Gujarat, Kolkata and Punjab on Dhanteras.

In addition, the company said that it has sold off the current GLE, three months ahead of plan, owing to an unprecedented demand from across India. It has also opened the bookings for the upcoming new generation GLE scheduled to be launched before the Auto Expo 2020.

According to Mercedes-Benz India’s Managing Director and CEO Martin Schwenk: “The festive season has been satisfactory for us and we are glad to see an overwhelming response to our products from across markets.”

Automobile sector continues to be in the red but luxury car segment picking up Mercedes delivers over 600 cars during Dhanteras

Representative image. Reuters

“This impressive number of deliveries during the current festive season reiterates the increasing customer confidence and the trust on brand Mercedes-Benz for a luxury car buyer in a challenging market.”

Not just Mercedes, but luxury automobile manufacturer Lamborghini India too has reported an uptick in sales.

In the last week of September,  Lamborghini India created a record for the fastest 50 deliveries of SUV 'Urus' within the first 12 months of its launch.

According to the company, India was amongst the first few markets to launch the Urus which comes with a price tag of Rs 3.1 crore (ex-showroom).

With its new offering, the super sports car Huracan Evo, starting deliveries from September to add to the Urus SUV, which has been sold out for 2019, Lamborghini India is confident of clocking high double-digit sales growth, although it had earlier pegged the outlook for the year at around 60 percent.

"There is a downturn in the overall auto industry. There are some challenges even in the super-luxury industry. Thankfully we are able to bring products at the right time and we are able to create excitement in the marketplace despite the challenges," Lamborghini India Head Sharad Agarwal told PTI earlier.

Following the launch of Urus SUV, last year the company emerged as the leader in the overall super luxury cars segment (cars priced above Rs 2.5 crore) where it competes with the likes of Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin and top-end products from German manufacturers Mercedes, BMW and Audi.

Domestic sales decline

Compared to the 20,000 units of luxury vehicles that were sold in the first half of last year, the Indian luxury market this year, recorded between 15,000 and 17,000 models, reports stated. In 2019, the luxury segment did worse than the rest of the country which is unusual in India as it typically outperforms the market.

The year began with a marginal decline in sales, according to a PTI report. However, the second quarter from April to June witnesses the worse drop with sales falling more than 30 percent to 6,500 to 7,000 units. In light of the same Mercedes-Benz, last week, reported an 18 percent decline in sales for the first half of 2019, blaming macroeconomic headwinds such as high-interest rates, rising import costs and a liquidity crunch that has affected the auto-loan market.

At an average 35,000-40,000 units in the last three-four years or about 1.17 percent of the overall passenger vehicle market, the luxury automotive market is the smallest among the large economies. India houses more than 350,000 millionaires.

Major industry players suggest that the industry is looking at its biggest decline in a decade. A few of them are also worried about the impact of India’s shift from Bharat Stage IV emission standards to BS-VI, as the increased cost associated with the technology change could discourage more buyers.

In August, all major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) consisting of passenger, commercial, two- and three-wheeler manufacturers have reported a massive decline in domestic sales.

As per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers' (SIAM) August sales figures, the overall sectoral offtake in the domestic market has plunged 23.55 percent to 1,821,490 units, from 2,382,436 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.

From April to August period, the sales have fallen by 15.89 percent to 97,32,040 units from 1,15,70,401 units in the year-ago period, SIAM had said.

--With inputs from agencies

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