NEW DELHI: The luxury market is gaining in strength on festive fervour. Mercedes-Benz India, the country’s largest luxury carmaker, reported a nearly four-fold jump in retail sales in the July-September quarter on a sequential basis, with sales at 2,058 units against 563 units in the second quarter.
Sales on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, however, are yet to recover and the volumes are down 39% when the third-quarter of this year is compared to the same period of 2019. The company had sold 3,354 units in Q3 last year.
Mercedes said that the “recovery” in numbers on a sequential basis shows that demand is coming back, which is a positive factor as the build-up is just ahead of the festive season of Navratri and Diwali.
“Mercedes-Benz India clocked the sales despite facing ongoing market challenges which are influenced strongly by the Covid-19 pandemic. The September 2020 sales underlines early signs of a gradual recovery, influenced by a rejuvenated product portfolio, which is led by the new SUVs,” the company said, adding that nearly 48% of the volumes came from off-roaders such as GLC and GLS.
The auto industry is under tremendous pressure this fiscal due to the coronavirus induced slowdown which has impacted the broader economy and has also depressed the job and salary-increment outlook. The auto industry fell nearly 18% in 2019-20, and is forecasting a full-year decline this year too as they lost sales in early- and middle-part of the year due to corona restrictions and lockdowns.
However, companies have been driving in new models and schemes to excite the buyers, which has seen industry volumes perk up in August and September, holding out hope for the makers.
“We are confident that the upcoming festive season will deliver further momentum… We remain optimistic for the fourth quarter as the current demand situation and the feedback of the customers for our products is very positive,” Martin Schwenk, MD & CEO of Mercedes-Benz India, said.
Mercedes recently drove in the electric SUV, the EQC, in India, and is also planning to introduce the A-Class entry sedan towards the end of the year.