Mercedes-Benz India, the domestic arm of German auto maker, is targeting a double digit growth in 2013 as it has recorded a fall in the last year. In order to achieve this, the auto maker is planning to launch a number of models in the Indian auto market, namely Sports Utility Vehicle GL, A-Class (petrol and diesel) and B-Class (diesel) in the few couple of months. The Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Mercedes-Benz India, Eberhard Kern is quite optimistic for the Indian auto space and is aiming a decent growth in the same.
As the apex auto industry lobby, Society of Indian Auto Manufacturers (SIAM) is anticipating the fiscal 2014 to be a tough year; the German auto maker has expressed a different view. Kern was quoted as saying, “We are expecting double digit growth in 2013. We are satisfied with 2012 while 2013 is a transition year. We have developed offensive four pillars to achieve the growth. We will focus on quality of dealer network, upgrading & launching new products, creating brand experiences and bundling packages.”
During 2012, the auto maker delivered 7,138 cars in India with a dip of 4 per cent, under the review of 7,430 units being sold in the year 2011. The company official further said that the recently introduced Union Budget has further impacted on the growth of Indian auto industry as imported Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and cars have now become dearer. Eh further added, “But our growth story is intact. We will be launching new SUV, GL, which has luxury equivalent to S-class. We have already launched B-class petrol variant. Its diesel variant will hit the roads soon. The luxury hatchback A-class with petrol and diesel variants will also be launched in next four months.”
The company is anticipating a surge in the demand for its luxury models and is looking ahead to record sales of 30,000 units at present. Interestingly, by the end of 2020, the figures are expected to reach close to 2.8 lakh, which will be quite overwhelming, as far as industry experts are concerned. Kern said, “Currently, of total car sales of 25 lakh, luxury segment contributes only 1.2 per cent. We expect luxury car segment will contribute 4% of the total sales in the next eight years.” He affirmed that SUVs account for almost 15 per cent of three pointed star’s total sales in the Indian auto market, which is also believed to witness a surge.