Mercedes-Benz India has an interesting way of quantifying its car launches since the Covid-19 lockdown started getting lifted—it introduced 2,500bhp of cars, if you add up the total bhp of the engines of the cars it has launched. These include the GTR (585bhp), C63 (476bhp), GLE 450 (390bhp), GLS 450 (390bhp), GLS 400d (330bhp) and GLE 400d (330bhp), the total of which is 2,501bhp. While growth in luxury car segment (above Rs 30 lakh) is slower than in the mass market, car sales in the Rs 80-lakh-plus segment are more than in the pre-lockdown phase, says Santosh Iyer, vice-president, Sales & Marketing, Mercedes-Benz India. “Overall, post-lockdown, we are seeing 25% growth in sales month on month, and October should be the month when we come back to last year’s level of sales.”
The company is seeing two unique customers sets post-lockdown.
“One is those who are unlocking themselves; they were indoors for 3-4 months and now they are enjoying life. With the uncertainties around they are splurging and buying cars for themselves. Then there is another set of customers who, let’s say, used to invest in SIPs, but now they feel it’s better to consume rather than save,” adds Iyer. New car sales in the luxury segment are also coming from those who have shifted from air traffic to road traffic.
“On certain routes such as Delhi-Jaipur or Bengaluru-Chennai, earlier a lot of people used to take flights, but now that entire traffic has moved to road. There are people doing those routes who want safer and more luxurious cars, and that is also driving luxury car consumption to an extent,” says Iyer. This week Mercedes launched the AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé, for Rs 1.2 crore.
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