Have strong order bank, expect 2021 to be better than 2020: Mercedes-Benz India
The auto industry in the country may have yet again had a challenging April and May owing to lockdowns and restrictions in almost every state here. Mercedes-Benz India, however, is confident that while the past two months have been challenging for a wide variety of reasons emanating from the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the luxury car segment will likely remain on track.
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Mercedes has confirmed that its plans of launching 15 products in the country in this calendar year remains on track. The biggest show of intent could well be the GLS Maybach that is scheduled for a launch next week. While the GLS Maybach will obviously cater to an extremely niche and wealthy car-buying audience, the German car maker is positive about prospects for all models it currently offers. "Our entire lineup is new. We have the new A-Class, GLA, GLC, E-Class, all volume products are new," Santosh Iyer, Vice President for Sales and Maketing at Mercedes-Benz India, tells HT Auto. "We are fortunate to have a strong order bank already so we don't have a issue of demand right now because we have a good opening order bank. And as long as the supply chain can manufacture we expect to close 2021 definitely better than 2020."
But what about the uncertainties that are likely to persist owing to the pandemic for the remainder of the year? "On one hand, one doesn't need to become flamboyant but on the other hand, on personal consumption level, we expect a positive trajectory," says Iyer. "This is because if you see past studies, post-pandemic demand for luxury good have gone up. So overall in the industry we see demand coming back."
If and when the demand does bounce back, Mercedes says its lineup is ready to woo buyers. The product offensive was largely maintained last year and the start of this year also saw several big-ticket launches. "Our launch plans for the year, the 15 products we had previously lined up, remains on track. There is no change," Iyer reaffirmed.