Mercedes-Benz India, the leading and largest luxury car maker in the country, has further expanded its dealer network. The company inaugurated two state-of-the-art luxury dealerships in Jodhpur, Rajasthan and Hubballi, Karnataka yesterday. Both the outlets are the first-ever luxury dealerships in the city of Jodhpur and Hubbali, serving as a one-stop-shop solution for customer requirements. This expansion increases Mercedes-Benz’s dealership network to 96 outlets in 47 cities, the largest by any luxury car manufacturer in India.
While the 3S dealership in Jodhpur was inaugurated by Martin Schwenk, managing director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, the service facility in Hubballi was inaugurated by Ashish Salvi, general manager, Customer Services - Operations and Marketing.
First-ever luxury car outlet in Jodhpur
Jodhpur, which Mercedes-Benz India has earmarked as a growing luxury car market, has now got its first-ever luxury car dealership with T&T Motors, which invested Rs 5 crore in the facility. The 3S showroom, spread across 10,500 square feet includes a three-car display and four dedicated service bays, has over 20 professionally trained staff to ensure a personalised experience. It will cater to the neighboring districts of Pali, Sirohi, Jalore, Sanchore, Barmer, Jaisalmer and Nagaur in Rajasthan.
Inaugurating the dealership, Martin Schwenk said, “At Mercedes-Benz India, it is our endeavour to bring the brand as close as possible to our customers. Jodhpur has emerged as one of the key markets for us and there has been a growing demand for luxury cars in this market. With this luxurious 3S dealership, we are deepening our commitment and providing ‘modern luxury’ in its truest form to our customers. With this launch, our aim is to provide world-class service to our discerning customers in Jodhpur and set the benchmark in overall vehicle ownership experience.”
Hubbali’s first luxury car service facility
Like Rajasthan, Karnataka too is fast emerging as a strong market for luxury vehicles. Akshaya Motors, the new unit in Hubbali, is the first-ever luxury car service facility in the city. The 5,500 square feet facility houses five dedicated service bays for preventive maintenance and repair. The facility, built with an investment of Rs 3 crore, can service over 1,000 cars in a year with 30 trained professionals, and will also cater to nearby towns of Belgaum, Hosapete and Ballari.
Santosh Iyer, Vice President - Customer Service, Retail Training and Corporate Affairs, Mercedes-Benz India said, “Mercedes-Benz has set a high benchmark in offering overall vehicle ownership experience to customers beyond the established metros. As a commercial hub and the second largest metropolis in the state of Karnataka, Hubballi is a high-potential market with significant concentration of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. As a part of our ‘Go to Customer’ strategy, we want to be close to our customers and the inauguration of this first-ever luxury service facility at Hubbali is a reaffirmation of our commitment to the customers and the market. South India remains one of our key markets and will witness continued network expansion and focused growth. This is the eighth service outlet in South India in the last 15 months. Our aim is to remain the ‘Mercedes of Service’ and this expansion is a step in the right direction.”
Leading the way
Mercedes-Benz India is the largest-selling luxury carmaker in the country. In the January to September 2018 period, the company sold 11,789 units, down marginally by 0.7 percent (January-September 2017: 11,869). Demand was driven mainly by models such as the long wheelbase E-Class, C-Class sedan and SUVs.
Volumes in the third quarter of 2018 (July-September) declined significantly by 20 percent to 3,728 units from 4,689 units in July-September 2017. The company said factors like rising interest rates, depreciation of the rupee and rising import costs weighed on volumes. It also said a price hike could be on the horizon due to these factors.
Meanwhile, key German rival BMW sold a total of 7,915 units (including Mini) in the January-September 2018 period, (including Mini), up 11 percent year-on-year on the back of upbeat demand for the 6-series GT, the 5-series, the X1 and record sales of the Mini.
Swedish carmaker Volvo too registered significant growth in volumes in the first nine months of 2018, albeit on a relatively lower base. Sales totaled 1,896 units, up 34 percent year-on-year (January-September 2017: 1,413).