Mercedes-Benz India on Thursday reported a strong end to the first half of 2021, a period in which it delivered 4,857 new vehicles in the country. This is a growth of 65% over the same time period of 2020 even if it is important to note that the Covid-19 pandemic had varying effects on the auto market in both of these time periods.
Bolstered by a massive product-launch offensive, Mercedes has been leading the luxury charge in the Indian automobile industry. The company has plans of driving in as many as 15 new or updated car models in 2021 and has already set the pace with the likes of A-Class Limousine on the one side of the price spectrum to the S-Class 2021 and GLS Maybach on the other. So far, the carmaker has launched eight products this year and is scheduled to drive out the new AMG E 63S and AMG E 53 performance sedans next week.
Not surprisingly, even though there is a general increase in preference for SUVs across passenger vehicle segments and in many countries including India, luxury sedans from Mercedes still fare better than SUVs here. As such, the updated E-Class LWB – launched in March – was the best-selling Mercedes model in the first half of 2021, along with the GLE. Mercedes is also claiming that it continues to have a strong order intake for the EQC, its first-ever electric vehicle which was launched in India in late 2020. Mercedes also notes that around 20% of all sales in the first six months of 2021 have been online. In Covid-19 times, carmakers have had to bolster digital sales platforms and Mercedes reports 35% of all its sales in the country in April and May were made digitally. With restrictions in many parts of the country being eased or removed completely, the German carmaker expects to emerge even stronger and highlights it is beginning a ramp-up in production from this month onwards.