Riding on the wave of sales growth achieved in 2014 and during the first quarter of 2015, Mercedes Benz hopes to get back to its numero uno position this year, according to a top company official.
The German luxury car maker, which sold 10,200 cars in 2014 and 3,566 cars in the January-March quarter — 385 cars more than nearest competitor Audi — hopes to register a double-digit growth in 2015. “We have grown 40 per cent in the first quarter of 2015 and the second quarter will be even better. So, we are confident of achieving a strong double-digit growth in 2015,” Eberhard Kern, managing director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, told Business Standard.
Even though Audi sold more cars in 2014-15, Kern said it would overtake the competition in 2015 and regain its No 1 spot in the luxury car market. The company, he said, has put in place the 'right' strategy to exploit the positive customer sentiment and register higher sales in India this year.
“As part of our strategic ‘15 in 15’ approach, we are increasing our sales network in the country. This week, we have added two new showrooms in South India to take our total network strength to 73 outlets across 39 cities. We recently doubled our plant capacity to 20,000 units and are future ready. We will grab a sizeable market of the growing luxury car market in the coming years,” said Kern.
The company is also launching 15 new products in India this year, of which six products have already been launched. The seventh will be rolled out very soon, he said.
Mercedes Benz will soon start assembling the CLA-Class from its Chakan facility later this year. However, Kern did not specify the timing of the assembly of CLA-Class in India. With the completion of recent expansion at Chakan facility, Mercedes Benz achieved 60 per cent localisation in some its models.
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As part of its network expansion, the company is looking at increasing the reach to 50 cities from the present 39 cities. Another 10-15 outlets will be opened in the country including some Tier-2 cities in the next three years, Kern added.
The company on Wednesday opened its third outlet in Bengaluru through Akshaya Motors.