With Mercedes-Benz announcing its global sales numbers for 2016 yesterday, and usurping the luxury car crown from BMW, Mercedes-Benz India today revealed its India sales for the calendar year.
The Indian arm of the German carmaker sold a total of 13,231 units in 2016, down 2.04% over 2015’s sales of 13,502 units, a year in which the company had notched 32 percent year-on-year growth. There is little down that Mercedes-Benz India faced a number of challenges in the Indian market in the past year. In fact in November 2016, managing director and CEO Roland Folger (pictured) had told Autocar Professional, "I doubt we can match last year's (2015) result."
In 2016, the company saw all-round contribution from all the segments. The luxury SUV range comprising the GLA, GLC, GLE, GLE Coupé, GLS and G-Class grew by more than 20 percent, with the GLE emerged as the highest sold SUV for the brand. In the luxury sedan segment, the C-Class remained the highest selling luxury sedan for Mercedes-Benz in Jan-Dec 2016 period, closely followed by the E-Class and S-Class. Sports car and performance brand Mercedes-AMG and the Dream Cars achieved double- digit growth rates in 2016, underlining Mercedes-Benz’s strong dominance in the performance car segment.
Commenting on the sales performance in 2016, Roland Folger said, “Clocking more than 13,000 units for two consecutive years is an achievement for us, given the uncertainties and challenges we faced last year. We are very satisfied with our strategy, which has been bearing fruit and makes us the most preferred luxury car brand for discerning customers. Our strong sales momentum in 2016 underlines this customer trust on a winning brand, which strengthened the brand’s position and market share, more than ever before. Our unmatched product strategy, network expansion drive, comprehensive financial programmes, supported by innovative and value-driven service excellence initiatives, buoyed our momentum.”
He further elaborated, “2016 was a challenging year but our sales achievement makes us bullish for 2017 and gives us confidence for the mid- to long-term growth prospect of the market. We are hopeful about a stable business environment and long-term roadmap for the luxury auto industry in India, which has the potential to grow and contribute more to the economy. In 2017, we will continue our winning philosophy with the ‘One Team, One Goal’ approach, which aims at creating the best customer experience through a range of varied customer-centric initiatives.”
Mercedes-Benz India’s growth strategy for 2017 will comprise an aggressive product line-up, which will see launch of new products across segments, some of which will be without a predecessor. There will be a mix of volume cars and also performance cars in the product mix offered in 2017. In 2017, Mercedes-Benz will also undertake the next phase of initiatives in the after-sales domain with new innovations in the pipeline planned, including the roll-out of ‘My Mercedes, My Service 2.0’ amongst other initiatives.