Mercedes-Benz rolls out luxury SUV Maybach at ₹2.43 crore

Ayushi Kar Mumbai | Updated on June 08, 2021

Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India   -  KSL

Company sells all the units before launch; sees V-shaped recovery in luxury car space

Riding high on the momentum of the launch of a new retail model in India, Mercedes Benz rolled out its first-ever SUV offering in the coveted ‘Mercedes Maybach’ range priced at ₹2.43 crore

Speaking to BusinessLine, MD & CEO of Mercedes Benz India, Martin Schwenk, said “with our two back to back launches, Mercedes is seeking to be ahead of the curve and invigorate the market with positivity at the end of the second wave.”

All the 50+ units for this premium SUV, Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4Matic, have already been sold and the next set of these customisable SUVs will be delivered and sold to customers by the first quarter of 2022.

Selling all of their units before the launch, Schwenk believes that this is the first indicator for the V-shaped recovery in the luxury car space.

“This is extremely healthy demand unlike last year, where there was a spike in sales due to the pent up demand, where people could still order even though the car is not being made at the moment,” he added.

Mercedes supply chain

Emerging from the second wave, Mercedes fared better in sustaining continued production the second time around “Unlike the same time last year where production was suspended completely, we were still able to continue producing cars at a more limited pace with limited manpower. This helped us avoid the situation where we are completely out of cars and cannot supply cars to the customers once the market is open” Schwenk observed

Mercedes’ inventory model for production also helped prevent any backlogs in the supply chain with sales, when production and sales came to a halt or slowed down in the second wave. “What we produce has already been commissioned a couple of months ago, this helps maintain a flow of sorts so that inventory does not get backed up as sales slow down during the lockdown” Schwenk explained.

Second-hand cars

Schwenk also debunked the prevailing understanding that the luxury used-car business has seen a major uptick as a consequence of the pandemic.

Presently, one in four cars sold by Mercedes is a used car and this trend has not seen a major change as a result of Covid for Mercedes.

“People who are either first-time purchasers of a luxury car brand or old customers who want a new model to be their purchase, I have not seen a major change in this trend as a result of Covid where people who due to some financial crunch are purchasing a used luxury car instead of a new one,” said Schwenk.

Indian tax policies, custom duties continue to remain major deterrents in the reduction of price.

For now, the aspirational value of owning a Mercedes remains a major driver for demand across all segments from entry-level to ultra-luxury.

Published on June 08, 2021

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