Wednesday, 11 January 2017

First sales drop for Mercedes India in 5yrs; rival BMW grows 14%


11 January 2017

PUNE: The Pune-based company clocked sales of 13,231 units in January-December 2016, a drop of 2 percent over 13,502 units sold in calendar year 2015.

India's largest luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz recorded its first decline in sales in five years hurt badly by the court-imposed eight-month ban on sales in Delhi-NCR. The Pune-based company clocked sales of 13,231 units in January-December 2016, a drop of 2 percent over 13,502 units sold in calendar year 2015.

Sales stagnated for the luxury car maker last year when the Supreme Court imposed a ban on sale of diesel cars having more than 2 litre engines on concerns over pollution. The ban imposed in December 2015 was lifted last year in August after the apex court asked the authorities to impose a 1 percent environment cess on sale of such vehicles.

Roland Folger, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, said: “2016 was a year of market challenges but despite facing such challenges, it is quite satisfying for us to have made the best of the opportunities that we had. We remain bullish on our outlook for 2017”.

Ban on sale of large diesel cars coupled with excise duty hike and demonetisation took a toll on demand for luxury cars in India. At around 35,000 units, sale of luxury cars in India in 2016 are expected to remain stagnant compared to 2015. "If not for the ban in Delhi-NCR, our sales would have closed with a double digit growth," said a Mercedes-Benz executive. Mercedes-Benz launched 15 products in 2015 followed by 12 last year. It is expected to launch at least 9 new products in 2017.

Meanwhile, India's third largest luxury car maker BMW said it delivered 7,861 cars in 2016 posting a growth of 14 percent as compared to 2015 when the German car maker clocked 6,890 units sales. Despite the growth, BMW managed to just beat its 2013 total of 7,327 units.


Sales in 2014 and 2015 stood at 6812 units and 6890 units respectively. Frank Schloeder, President (act.), BMW Group India said: “2016 has not been an easy year for the automotive industry and that applies equally to BMW Group India. During the course of the year, developments in the Indian economy and policy framework shook the mechanisms of the auto industry." "BMW Group India was faced with challenges no less than any other automobile manufacturer and was confronted with strong pressure from the beginning of the year. Despite a challenging business environment, BMW Group India has increased sales and market share," he added.

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