Mercedes-Benz India (Photo Credit: Twitter)
It is the known fact that the luxury carmakers account only 1 per cent of the market share. The luxury carmakers are the first to get hit due to the slump in the Indian auto sector. Recently, Mercedes-Benz India announced its sales report for the first half of calendar year 2019 and it is in negative. Yes, you read it right. Mercedes-Benz, the largest-selling luxury car brand in the country, witnessed a sales decline of 18.60 per cent in the Indian market in the first six months (H1) of the current year.
It is to be noted that the Mercedes-Benz has sold 6561 units in the January-June period this year as compared to 8061 units in the same period last year. According to the Mercedes-Benz India, high interest rates, inflationary hikes, liquidity crunch and rising import costs took a toll on sales. However, the German carmaker still claims leadership position in the Indian market.
Commenting on sales performance, Martin Schwenk, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, "We are glad to maintain the leadership position in the luxury car market by sustaining our sales performance despite facing continuous macro-economic headwinds and a temporary limited availability of volume models.”
“We expect sales to recover gradually from the third quarter, however, conditions would continue to remain challenging. We are excited to retain our customers' loyalty and sustain the market leadership by continuing our customer centric initiatives. As a fundamentally strong brand, Mercedes-Benz continue to remain bullish on the mid to long term prospect of the dynamic Indian market," he added.
It is worth mentioning here that the Mercedes-Benz E-Class LWB continues to the bestseller for the German carmaker, followed by the C-Class and GLC SUV. In the first six months of the year 2019, sales of AMG models have gone up by 47 per cent.
Importantly, ahead the recent budget session, Mercedes-Benz along with SIAM and several other carmakers had requested the budget committee to reduce the GST rates on cars measuring above four-metres to 18 per cent.