German luxury car maker Mercedes Benz expects ‘significant’ growth in India with a range of 15 products this year and demand recovery has continued since the fourth quarter of last year, a top company official said.
However, the company will reach its peak in India in 2018, only in 2022, especially due to supply chain restrictions in Europe.
“Overall, I think we can really assume that the pace we saw in the fourth quarter continues … There has been a lot of default as the number of Govt cases has been reduced. We have seen very strong demand in our range.
“The festive season and new products have sparked it, and I think it will continue into 2021,” Martin Swenk, managing director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India, told PTI.
He was responding to a question about the company’s outlook for the ongoing calendar year.
Swenk added, “We have 15 products in our pipeline. With the (current) demand, we should have a good chance of recovery and significant growth in 2021. ”
By 2020, sales in India were down 43 per cent from 7,893 units, compared to 13,786 units sold in 2019.
Giving a perspective on how the demand recovery is steady and strong in the second half of 2020, he said, “In the fourth quarter of 2020, we saw an increase of 40 percent compared to the third quarter.”
In the first quarter of 2020, the company sold 2,386 units, down from just 563 units in Q2 due to its lockout. It sold 2,058 units in the third quarter and 2,886 units in the fourth quarter, an increase of 40 per cent over the previous quarter.
Asked how long it will take Mercedes-Benz India to reach its highest sales of 15,538 units in 2018, Sweng said, “2018 was our best year and I don’t think we will reach it in 2021. I think in 2022 we will achieve that. ”
Giving reasons, he said, “What controls us at this time is more than the start of actual production. We have the need to get support from Europe, there are still some concerns in the travels… there are some restrictions at present ”.
Claiming that global demand has risen better than expected, he said the company’s top sellers GLE and GLS are facing some hurdles in SUVs.
“We have order banks on these vehicles and have a waiting period of one to three months on the GLS.
Commenting on demand sustainability, he said India’s key economic indicators are beautiful, which helps create positive consumer sentiment, especially among the company’s key customers, traders.
“Currently we have constant demand, a positive development on the demand side. I can clearly see that improving new products and customer sentiment has created demand நான் I think we will continue to see demand,” Sweng said.