9th Oct 2018 7:45 pm

Company says higher duty and depreciation of rupee put volumes under pressure; continues to maintain a significant lead in India’s luxury vehicle segment.

India’s largest-selling luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz India today announced that it sold 11,789 units in the Jan-Sep 2018, down marginally by 0.7 percent from 11,869 units sold during the same time last year.

However, volumes in the third quarter of 2018 (Jul-Sep) declined significantly by 20 percent to 3,728 units, from 4,689 units last year.

The automaker said factors like rising interest rates, depreciation of the rupee and rising import costs weighed on volumes. It also said a price hike could be on the horizon due to the previously stated factors.
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Volumes in the first nine months of the calendar year were driven mainly models such as the long wheelbase E-Class, C-Class sedan and SUVs.

“We are satisfied with our sales performance despite experiencing the prevailing micro-economic headwinds and also a high base of 2017, which was a result of the strong built up to the GST roll-out and also the onset of an earlier festive season, posing stiff sales challenges,” Michael Jopp, VP, Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz India said in a company statement.

So far this year, the carmaker has launched 10 models in India, the most recent being the C-class facelift and the all new G63 AMG. Going ahead, Jopp said the company foresees a pick-up in sales with the onset of the festive season, which usually sees a spurt in demand for new cars.

Meanwhile, Merc’s key German rival, BMW, recently announced that it posted a sales growth in Jan-Sep 2018, delivering 7,915 units (including Mini), up 11 percent year-on-year on the back of upbeat demand for the 6-series GT, the 5-series, the X1 and record sales of the Mini.

Moreover, Swedish carmaker Volvo, too registered a significant growth in volumes in the first nine months of 2018, albeit on a relatively lower base. Sales totaled 1,896 units, up 34 percent year-on-year from 1,413 units sold during the same period in 2017.


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