In the first two quarters of the calendar year 2022, the company sold around 9,000 units. That is compared to 15,538 units in 2018, followed by 13,786 units in calendar year 2019, before Covid-19 pulled down sales. The company sold 7,893 and 11,242 units in 2020 and 2021.
“Post Covid we have seen a huge comeback from the market. Our demand currently is one of the best ever demands we have seen in our existence in India. During the first quarter we did close to 4,000 cars and now an order bank of around 5,000 cars we have moving forward. This kind of a strong booking, order bank, we have never seen in the past,” said Santosh Iyer, vice president, sales and marketing, Mercedes-Benz India
The current spike in order is also driven by the all-new C-Class in India, with a price starting at Rs 55 lakh (ex-showroom). The new brand got an order bank of Rs 600 crore or around 1,000 units – out of which 70 per cent came from existing customers of the company. “Even before the launch, we opened it up for only Mercedes Benz customers. That is something new we tried out more for loyal customers so that they don’t miss out,” he said.
The company said that it is seeing a change in the buying pattern of luxury cars by customers. The share of the luxury car market below Rs 50 lakh was close to 40 per cent pre-Covid. Now, it is only 24 per cent. On the other hand, the above Rs 1 crore market, which was 12 per cent, increased 29 per cent. “We are seeing a strong demand for super luxury cars. Demand side is not a big challenge now. The challenge is to keep these customers,” Iyer added.
He said company a chip shortage and shipping are challenges. “We are not able to cater to the increased demand because of the chip shortage and also due to logistic supply challenges related to ships delay and container non-availability,” he said. While the company’s sedan range has a waiting period of two to five months, SUV range extends from two months to 12 months. “We are trying to get components by air, so that we can ensure the cars are produced and give them to customers on time,” he said.
The company plan to localise its electric vehicle brand EQC, launched in January 2020, by the end of this year. "By the end of this year, we would see localisation of EQS in Pune. By 2025, we will also have one EV in every segment,” he added. EQC has a range of 700 kilo meter.