Budget 2019: While Mercedes welcomed the introduction of tax benefits for electric vehicles, the brand feels that conventional vehicles shouldn’t be taxed heavily
Budget 2019 India: Mercedes-Benz CEO Martin Schwenk had mixed reactions about the Union Budget 2019 presentation. While he was quite upbeat about the tax sops given out to electric vehicles, the need for something to be done for conventional fuelled vehicles could also be sensed. Custom duty increase on vehicle parts was something that didn’t bode well with Mercedes-Benz India. The company also wished that plug-in hybrid could be included in the tax benefits as this would have lead to a great push in green mobility. Further, the price of Mercedes-Benz India products could increase significantly due to the aforementioned factors and the price hike of fuel.
Here is what Martin had to say, “We welcome the Government’s vision of achieving a 3 trillion dollar economy and becoming the 6th largest economy in the world by end of this year. However, the decision to increase the custom duty on automotive parts was not expected and it is not going to help create demand in the industry which already is facing continued strong macro-economic headwinds, resulting in subdued consumer interest. The increase in custom duty coupled with increased input costs due to fuel price hike, could lead to an increase in the price of our model range. Though the budget has given a boost to green mobility, we wished for the inclusion of Plug-In-Hybrids for duty exemption as well, as that would have further given a push to the green mobility efforts.”