Half of Mercedes-Benz India's new launches in CY24 to be in top-end space
The German luxury carmaker has achieved nearly 25 percent sales contribution from vehicles priced around Rs 1.5 crore (on road) in its portfolio, and has deputed a dedicated five-member team from its internal Indian organisation to focus on top-end vehicle sales.
German luxury carmaker, Mercedes-Benz, which is the No. 1 luxury player in India's car market and clocked 17,408 units in CY23, plans to introduce 6 new top-end models - categorised as products with pricing hovering around the Rs 1.5 crore-and-above mark - in CY24.
The company presently sees top-end vehicles (TEVs) contributing around 25 percent to its overall sales, and plans 50 percent of new launches in CY24 to be in this segment. “We plan to introduce 12 new models this year, and half of them will be in the TEV space,” Santosh Iyer, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz India, told Autocar Professional.
“Right products excite the market, and we see a strong consumption mindset seeping in, and our average ticket size for loans has grown from Rs 40 to Rs 60 lakh. So, consumers are taking more credit and are ready to upgrade for higher-ranking cars. There is a strong desirability that is pushing our brand forward,” he added.
Iyer explained that the TEV cars, which include the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, GLS, and Maybach models in the company's portfolio, support it both from a revenue and brand perspective. “The desirability of the Mercedes-Benz brand comes from the top-end vehicles like the Maybachs, AMGs, and the S-Class - which is our flagship product - and therefore, it is important for us to focus and ensure the desirability as customers of these products are also the trendsetters in the market,” Iyer said.
“For us, the entry at the core happens by default simply because the top end is very strong and it creates a strong pull,” he added.
Iyer said that TEV sales are also intensive in terms of the customer relationship management or CRM, and the company has restructured its internal organisation to have dedicated leadership teams to handle TEVs. “The top-end consumers are extremely demanding, and it is a very time-consuming effort. Therefore, we have changed the organisation and created a five-member team to support TEV sales in India. A lot of my personal time and that of Lance Bennett (VP - Sales & Marketing) goes into top-end vehicles as well,” Iyer pointed out.
The five-member team Iyer mentioned about is led by Sanjay Kochar, General Manager, Top-End Vehicles, and the efforts of the said team also percolate down to the company’s retail network.
“Close to 25 percent of our sales are from TEV products, and while we used to categorise them as vehicles around the Rs 1 crore mark, but now given the rising prices, the on-road prices of TEV models is easily crossing the Rs 1.5 crore mark,” he said.
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