Mercedes eyes reduced trade barriers from new India government: Report

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has built a business-friendly image over the last decade, is eyeing a rare third straight term in office in India's
...
Mercedes Benz Logo
Mercedes-Benz CEO said increased FTAs and reduced trade barriers remain highly desirable from an economic growth perspective
Mercedes Benz Logo
Mercedes-Benz CEO said increased FTAs and reduced trade barriers remain highly desirable from an economic growth perspective

German carmaker Mercedes-Benz wants India's next government to forge more free trade agreements (FTAs) and reduce trade barriers to help boost luxury car sales in one of the world's biggest auto markets, its country head said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has built a business-friendly image over the last decade, is eyeing a rare third straight term in office in India's national election that ends on Saturday.

Asked about issues Mercedes-Benz would like to see resolved when the new government takes charge next month, its India managing director and CEO, Santosh Iyer, said increased FTAs and reduced trade barriers "remain highly desirable from an economic growth perspective".

Also check these Cars

Find more Cars
Mercedes-benz C-class Cabriolet (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1991.0 cc FuelType IconPetrol
₹ 68.70 Lakhs
Compare
Mercedes-benz C-class 2022 (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1993 cc FuelType IconMultiple
₹ 55 - 61 Lakhs
Compare
View Offers
Mercedes-benz E-class Cabriolet Facelift (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
Engine Icon2996 cc FuelType IconPetrol
₹ 80 - 84 Lakhs
View Details
Mercedes-benz Amg C 43 (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1991 cc FuelType IconPetrol
₹ 98 Lakhs
Compare
Mahindra Xuv 3xo (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1497 cc FuelType IconMultiple
₹ 7.49 - 15.49 Lakhs
Compare
View Offers
Tata Nexon (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon1497 cc FuelType IconMultiple
₹ 8.10 - 15.50 Lakhs
Compare
View Offers

"In the mid to long term, we want the Indian luxury car market to grow," said Iyer. "In India, we are on a strong growth path."

Luxury car sales in India have been surging as an expanding affluent class spends more on discretionary items. Mercedes, India's biggest luxury car seller, posted record sales in 2023.

Analysts, however, say a lack of FTAs - which typically allow more favourable tax regimes between nations - and trade barriers such as India's high import taxes on cars and components deter companies from expanding local production.

Import taxes on completely built cars worth more than $40,000 is 100% in India.

Mercedes had said in 2022 that a comprehensive trade deal with the European Union could help the company produce more cars in India and potentially export from here.

Modi's government has finalised FTAs with Australia, the United Arab Emirates and a four-nation European bloc in the last 10 years, but has missed several deadlines to sign off on trade deals with the UK, while a deal with the EU is being negotiated.

India restarted trade deal talks with the EU in 2022. Negotiations were previously halted in 2013 due to differences over tariffs and other issues.

Mercedes sold 17,408 cars in India in 2023, a 10% jump from a year earlier. It has been operating in the country for 30 years and assembles some of its cars in the western Indian city of Pune.

First Published Date: 31 May 2024, 20:17 PM IST
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city

Want to get the best price for your existing car?

Powered by: Spinny Logo
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy
Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.