German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is seeing a 25% month-on-month growth in sales numbers after the lockdown and hopes to come back to last year’s level soon. “We have already reached 70-80% of pre-Covid-19 level sales,” Mercedes-Benz India MD & CEO Martin Schwenk said. 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 or Mumbai-Pune, a lot of people earlier used to take flights but now that entire traffic has moved to the roads. “There are people doing those routes who want safer and more luxurious cars, and that is driving luxury car sales to an extent,” he said. “We are seeing more and more customers who want to buy, for example, the E-Class, because they don’t want to fly on shorter routes that can be done on a car in 3-5 hours.”
On Thursday, Mercedes launched the EQC electric car, priced Rs 99.3 lakh (ex-showroom). This price, for the first 50 units, includes the AC wall-box charger, home electrical charger, five-year unlimited on-road assistance, five-year service package, five-year unlimited km extended warranty, and 8 years, 160,000 km battery cover. The EQC, a CBU import, has a range of 450 km on full charge, and for inter-city travel Mercedes-Benz India has more than 100 charging points in 48 cities; these are equipped with wall-box charging facility.
“There is a growing number of luxury car owners who want a luxury EV. There is no option in the Indian market right now and we have the first-mover advantage here. The green number plate, we think, will attract new customers,” Schwenk said. The EQC is being launched in six cities in the first phase (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai), and will be launched in other metro cities later.
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