Mercedes India expects double-digit growth this year despite weak rupee concerns
- In 2023, Mercedes-Benz plans to launch 10 new cars in the country, with most costing more than 10 million rupees.
Mercedes-Benz India has said that it expects double-digit sales growth in the country this year, despite concerns of weaker rupee leading to increase in car prices. Last year, the German luxury carmaker saw its sales in India rise 41% last year to 15,822 units, which is its highest-ever in the country. The company currently has an order backlog of around 6,000 vehicles, Santosh Iyer, managing director for Mercedes-Benz India, told Reuters.
A weakening Indian currency is one of the risks to the growth of India's luxury car market and this could force Mercedes to increase the domestic prices as imported components get pricier. The rupee fell 10% against the dollar in 2022, its steepest drop since 2013, making it the one of the worst performing Asian currencies. However, the company said that it has started the year with a very healthy order bank, which gives it the confidence of a double-digit growth, even for 2023.
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This year, the automaker plans to launch 10 new cars in the country, with most costing more than 10 million rupees, the top-end segment that grew 69% in 2022. The new launches will include a mix of gasoline cars, electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids.
The company launched three EVs in India last year, including a locally assembled, electric model of its flagship S-Class sedan. The company noted that EVs have seen a strong demand, with Indian customers waiting four to six months after booking their cars. However, the company wants to reduce the waiting period to two to three months before launching more EVs.
While the global semiconductor shortage has been easing, the company still faces some disruption due to a shortage of parts and delayed shipments caused mainly by geopolitical issues, energy crisis in Europe and pandemic-related lockdowns in different parts of the world.