Mercedes-Benz India plans a 15-model assault in 2021

by Shahkar Abidi 13 Jan 2021


As Mercedes-Benz India strategises its revival amidst flagging sales in the luxury car segment, it has lined up a model assault with 15 launches including few facelifts in 2021 and also plans an additional investment of about Rs 400 crore towards further localisation of its production.

Offering a sneak peek of the company's strategy for 2021, Martin Schwenk, MD & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “We remain cautiously optimistic and are confident of continuing the sales momentum gained, despite facing pandemic triggered market upheavals. Mercedes-Benz India cautiously optimistic and we back it up with 15 new or renewed products and innovations in doing business”.  Starting Q2, the all-New A-Class Limousine, New GLA, AMG GT Black Series are some of the most promising products lined up for a 2021 debut, the company said in a statement.

The German automotive marque sold 7893 units during the Covid-scarred 2020. Even as the pandemic dealt the sharpest blow to high-ticket items and the luxury car segment was possibly the worst hit, the final quarter of 2020 brought some respite. Mercedes-Benz India clocked sales of 2886 units in Q4 – a jump of about 40 percent over the previous quarter (Q3). This is however still significantly below the 13,786 units it clocked in 2019. The 2019 sales figure were about 9.9 percent lower than the 2018 record sales of 15,538 units.

About 14 percent of the sales in Q4 CY2020 came through online bookings. Mercedes-Benz had launched 10 products during 2020 with C-Class sedan, E-Class LWB sedan and the GLC, GLE and GLS SUVs acting as key volume drivers. In comparison, the company had sold 13,786 units during 2019.

The sales statistics are being keenly watched by the industry as rival BMW clocked 6,604 units in 2020, a dip of 31.5 percent over previous year. Audi is yet to make an announcement of its sales numbers.

A-class Limousine, new GLA coming in 2021
The arrival of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine– which replaces the CLA in the India range – as well as the second-gen Mercedes-Benz GLA has been significantly delayed. Both were showcased at Auto Expo 2020 in February, and bookings for the A-Class Limousine have been open through most of 2020. Originally set to be launched in the second half of 2020, the A-Class Limousine is now set to be the first all-new model from Mercedes-Benz for India, and will be launched around March-April this year.

It has officially been confirmed that the A-Class Limousine will be followed by the second-gen GLA, as well as the hardcore 730hp Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, which features the most powerful series-production AMG V8 till date.

Other key launches from Mercedes in 2021 will be that of the all-new S-Class, which is set to be launched in the second half of 2021, and the facelifted E-Class, which will receive styling changes and the company’s latest MBUX infotainment system. Mercedes-Benz India, however, has refrained from detailing all 15 launches at this time. Earlier this month, Mercedes-Benz India launched the S-class Maestro Edition, which is effectively a swansong for the current-gen model


Reimagining Excellence: motto for 2021

Mercedes-Benz also unveiled it’s 2021 motto, ‘Reimagining Excellence’, which it claims is aimed at making the brand more desirable and drawing customers even closer to the Three-pointed Star. According to Martin Schwenk, the company plans to accomplish this by creating a personalised ‘physidigital experience’ and offering a highly differentiated and best-in-class retail experience. In addition, focusing on sustainability initiatives will be a key pillar in reimagining excellence, the company added.